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Science
28 Sep 2017

Russia-US to build first-ever space station orbiting Moon

Russia and the US have agreed to cooperate on a programme to build the first-ever space station orbiting the Earth's Moon.

The programme, called Deep Space Gateway, is part of a NASA-led multi-stage project for the manned exploration of the solar system and beyond.

This programme includes a long-term project to send humans to Mars, which NASA hopes to achieve by 2030.

In context

Russia-US to build first-ever lunar space station

Agreement

US-Russian space agencies sign agreement on lunar space station

On September 27, Russian space agency Roscosmos announced the signing of a cooperation agreement with NASA.

The agreement envisages the development of international technical standards used to create the lunar space station.

Both sides have agreed to cooperate to build systems for the station.

The unified standards would ensure that other countries building spacecraft can dock at the lunar space station in the future.

Details

Russia to contribute docking units, rockets for station's construction

"Taking into account the country's extensive experience in developing docking units, the station's future elements will be created using Russian designs," Roscosmos said.

Russia and the US have discussed deploying the Russia-built Proton-M and Angara rockets to build the lunar spaceport's infrastructure, which would commence in the mid-2020s.

NASA plans to send humans to Mars' orbit by 2030 and subsequently colonize the planet.

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Russia-US space cooperation continues despite strained bilateral ties

Space exploration is one of the few areas of US-Russia cooperation that remains unaffected by the currently strained bilateral tensions. Both countries continue to work jointly on the $100 billion International Space Station, the world's largest space project.

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