The new colonial movement: China and Russia today signed an agreement outlining a partnership to jointly build a base and orbiting station on and around the Moon.
The International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) is described as a comprehensive scientific experiment base built on the lunar surface or on the lunar orbit that can carry out multi-disciplinary and multi-objective scientific research activities including exploration and utilization, lunar-based observation, basic scientific experiment and technical verification, and long-term autonomous operation. Statements from Roscosmos and CNSA underline that the project will be “open to all interested countries and international partners.”
Though not explicitly stated it is understood that the ILRS would be constructed at the lunar south pole.
Russia is slowly breaking off its partnership with the U.S. because the U.S. is insisting it sign the Artemis Accords, which require all signatories to honor property rights in space. Neither Russian nor China wish to do that, instead reserving those rights wholly to their own governments, their citizens be damned.
Thus, we have a deal for Russia and China to work together. China actually doesn’t need Russia, as it has clearly shown in the past five years that its space capabilities are quite sufficient and well funded. Russia however needs China, as its capabilities have been declining in recent years due to corruption within its aerospace industry as well as a shortage of funds caused by a poor economy and the drop in oil prices.
Working together however could help speed what they achieve while simultaneously fueling the growing international competition in space. In the end this will benefit everyone, as more will get done faster.
How we shall settle the disagreement over property rights and government power in space is a entirely different question, one that I address at great length in my next soon-to-be published book, entitled Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and into the future. Stay tuned!
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