Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
The competition heats up: Russia signs a preliminary space exploration agreement with China.
Meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister Wang Yang, in Beijing on Monday, [Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri] Rogozin announced on Twitter that he had signed “a protocol on establishing a control group for the implementation of eight strategic projects.” In a later Facebook post, he said “cooperation in space and in the market for space navigation” were among the projects.
Rogozin and Wang agreed to hold a meeting between the heads of their respective agencies “in the near future,” so that Beijing and Moscow could sow the seeds of a potential space partnership.
Federal Space Agency chief Oleg Ostapanko wants to allow “Chinese colleagues participate in some of the most interesting projects that can replace the ISS,” Rogozin said, adding that they would also discuss “projects such as cooperation in the field of rocket engine development,” and cooperation in the growing market of space applications services — which primarily applies to the development of the Chinese Beidou satellite navigation system and Russia’s Glonass navigation system, both rivals to the U.S.’ GPS.
The article does not give much information about this agreement, but does spend a lot of time discounting it, saying that it really is only a bluff to keep the U.S. from imposing more sanctions against Russia’s profitable commercial space efforts.