Russia And The US Are Building A Moon Base

Image for representational purpose only

On Wednesday, the two space agencies signed a statement indicating their intent to work together to establish a new space station that will orbit the Moon.

NASA wants to start work on the Deep Space Gateway, which will be crewed by four astronauts, in the mid-2020s.

Following in the footsteps of the International Space Station, the moon ship would be open to astronauts and cosmonauts from around the world.

The decision to partner with Russian Federation on human missions to the moon and beyond came about as NASA continues to flesh out ideas for its "deep-space gateway" concept, a mission architecture created to send astronauts into cislunar space - or lunar orbit - by the 2020s.

"Building the deep space gateway will allow engineers to develop new skills and test new technologies that have evolved since the assembly of the International Space Station".

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The announcement is part of a project the space agency unveiled in March, dubbed "Deep-Space Gateway", which is meant to increase human presence in the solar system. It's one step toward its goal of sending humans to Mars by the 2030s.

While the NASA statement said the studies "will provide technical information to inform future decisions about potential collaborations", other reports citing the Russian space agency Roscosmos say a decision to cooperate on a station has been made.

Robert Lightfoot, NASA's acting administrator at NASA headquarters says: "While the deep space gateway is still in concept formulation, NASA is pleased to see growing global interest in moving into cislunar space as the next step for advancing human space exploration". Space agencies from Europe, Canada and Japan have been in talks with NASA to contribute to the near-lunar station project DSG but Roscosmos has been staying away from it until now.

The agreement didn't give details about funding or engineering specifics, but the Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. were reportedly asked to create risk-reduction and construction plans for the new station.

What a rendezvous at the deep space gateway could look like. Both the life support systems and the docking ports will be based on Russian design.

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