BEIJING – China and Russia are set to sign an agreement to strengthen space cooperation, including sending joint manned missions to the moon, official newspaper People’s Daily reported on Monday.
The agreement is scheduled to be signed in October and will be implemented between 2018-2022, and will cover five areas, including the possible return of man to the moon and other unmanned missions into the far space.
It will also include the development of special materials, satellite cooperation, space junk management and Earth remote sensing will also be included, added the Daily, considered the mouthpiece for the Communist Party of China.
The report recalled that although this would not be the first space agreement between Beijing and Moscow, it would be the first one to spread over a five-year period.
China plans to launch a mission to collect samples from the moon to the Earth, and in 2018 Beijing is expected to launch the first module of its own space station, scheduled to be completed in 2022.
In 2020, China plans to send a mission to Mars with a robot vehicle for scientific research, and last year inaugurated the world’s largest radio telescope, half a kilometer (0.3 miles) in diameter.