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Russia & China negotiating increased cooperation on the Moon

The new colonial movement: According to the state-run Russian news source TASS, Russia and China are in negotiations to increase Russia’s participation in China’s program to establish a manned base on the Moon.

Russia’s state-run space corporation Roscosmos is in talks with its Chinese colleagues to determine scientific tasks for a lunar base and to discuss technical aspects of the project’s implementation, Deputy Director General for International Cooperation at the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos Sergey Savelyev told TASS. “At present, work is under way to determine possible scientific tasks of mutual interest in the Moon research. Besides, possible technical implementation of the project is being analyzed,” he said.

The article is very vague about details. It does signal that Russia is strongly looking for alternatives to working with the U.S. on its Lunar Gateway project. If it teams up with China NASA will likely begin breaking off all cooperation with Russia because of the legal restrictions that prevent it from partnering in any way with China.

This article also illustrates Russia’s declining status as a space power. For years they have depending on the American program at ISS to have a place in space. Now they are looking to China. All in all, it appears they can’t get their own projects going, and need to attach themselves to others to have any part in the exploration of space.

As for China, that country wants to the good public relations that would come from making its space program international in scope. I expect therefore they want Russia to sign on. I also expect that China will dictate terms, as it doesn’t really need Russia in its effort.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • Patrick Underwood

    Had the Clinton Administration not morphed Space Station Freedom into the ISS, a make-work project for ex-Soviet engineers, the Russian space program would have reached this state in the 1990s.

    Not saying that would have been preferable. Just highly likely.

  • Jeff Wright

    That might have pushed them into other arms faster though. Marshall almost got its hands on the RD-0120 Energia core block engine that’s similar to the RS-25 SSME. China should use that for LM-9. They already have a better Soyuz in Shenzhou. Had they embraced the hypergolic RD-270, and used nine of them in a R-56 monoblock core-instead of spending decades on their own non-toxics–they could have had an HLLV quickly. With such dense propellants and easier ignition, it could be modified into something like a room-temperature Falcon. With two strap-ons, it would be the most powerful rocket ever.

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