Russia and China discuss a broad cooperation in the field of space exploration. Both countries are willing to collaborate in a wide range of areas, including even joint missions to the Moon and Mars. According to the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, both sides have the potential to implement impressive space projects as they trust each other at the political level and at the level of specialists as well. Rogozin made his remarks on the possible Russia-China cooperation last week, during a meeting with the heads of Russian regions and Chinese provinces and the managers of companies from both countries.
"We’re developing an understanding for the rocket and space industry for possible interaction in such profound and technologically complex projects as the future exploration of the Moon, Mars and piloted cosmonautics," Rogozin said.
He noted that during his talks with the Vice Premier of China’s State Council, Wang Yang, cooperation in the issues of interaction between both space agencies was debated. The officials discussed large projects like the deliveries of rocket engines, and also collaboration in navigation systems.
Although the cooperation is still in its infancy, last week’s talks mark another important step towards evolving Sino-Russian partnership in space industry. Furthermore, last year, Rogozin stated that Moscow is ready to work hand in hand with Beijing on manned space projects, joint deep space exploration and joint exploration of the solar system.
In May 2016, both sides have begun joint work with the aim to devise a set of unified standards to be used in manufacturing space technologies, including those necessary for future manned lunar missions. The countries also aim to develop standards for docking units and electrical connectors.
One month ago, Russia’s Ambassador to China, Andrey Denisov disclosed that Russia and China are actively discussing possible cooperation in space rocket engine-making, creating a heavy rocket, space stations and making long-distance space flights.
“Cooperation is perceptible in the field of designing a heavy rocket and establishing interaction in the sphere of space stations and long-distance flights,” Denisov said.
He added that this collaboration would be of purely peaceful, civilian nature and would benefit the entire humankind rather than only the participating states.
Another factor that could step up this cooperation is the fact that China has voiced interest in Russian rocket engines. Rogozin revealed on July 6, that Beijing may buy rocket engines from Russia for it space program.
"We are talking about urgently preparing the most complex intergovernmental agreements that will outline the issue of maintaining Russia’s intellectual property on most high-technology production which will be sold in China. These are, first of all, rocket engines. China displays great interest in this issue," Rogozin said.
Russia plans to send cosmonauts to the Moon on a regular basis as soon as 2025. The country laid out its ambitious plan to carry out one or two launches yearly of its crewed spacecraft called “Federation”—currently in development—in order to transport people to lunar orbit. Meanwhile, China also sets its sights on the manned mission to the moon as the country aim to land humans on the lunar surface and establish a base there. The emerging Sino-Russian cooperation could significantly fasten the progress on these projects.