FP: Russia and China Challenge the US Now on the Moon

In mid-June 2021, Russia and China presented a roadmap for a joint base on the Moon, dubbed the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS). This is the latest example of growing multilateral Russian-Chinese cooperation and direct rivalry with the United States, as it will compete with NASA's plans, writes the American edition of Foreign Policy.

The idea of ​​Moscow and Beijing is stunning in its ambition. It runs for several decades and challenges Washington's Artemis program, which aims to build a global coalition. 14 missions are planned, which should end with the creation of a habitable base. In addition to research work, they will be engaged in the development of new of technologies, experiment with resource extraction and prepare the foundation for future space missions

- specified in the publication.

So far, no country has accepted the invitation of the Russian Federation and the PRC to become a participant in the ILRS. For example, Europeans are concerned about two issues. Is there a real opportunity to implement the project and is it not yet another demarche of the propaganda machine? A closer look reveals that the project is facing many serious obstacles, judging by the controversial history of Russian-Chinese space cooperation, formidable technical barriers and the delicate political balance that must be maintained for success.

The proposed lunar base will be the most significant joint project between Moscow and Beijing in space. In 1957, the USSR and China signed a New Defense and Technical Agreement, according to which Moscow provided Beijing with nuclear and missile capabilities. But by 1960, Soviet advisers had left Chinese territory - Moscow ended cooperation due to serious disagreements between the two largest communist powers on the planet.

In the decades that followed, the USSR focused on competing with the United States, while China promoted its own space program. In the 1990s, cooperation between Moscow and Beijing resumed. The PRC bought space technologies from the Russian Federation, including for the Soyuz manned spacecraft, thereby accelerating the development of its program.

In 2007, China and Russia signed an agreement on a joint exploration of Mars, but in 2011 an abnormal situation occurred that led to an unfortunate failure. Starting from Baikonur, both stages of the Zenit-2SB launch vehicle worked normally, but the propulsion engines of the Russian automatic interplanetary station Phobos Grunt did not turn on and the AMS did not switch to a flight path to Mars. "Phobos Grunt" was supposed to deliver soil samples to Earth from the satellite of Mars, and at the same time take a Chinese microsatellite to the "red planet".

The creation and maintenance of the lunar base will require huge financial costs and new technical solutions from both the PRC and the Russian Federation. Breakthroughs in robotics, rocketry and housing will be required. At the same time, the project does not have a state budget, but it will certainly require tens of billions of dollars. By comparison, NASA estimates that the Artemis program will cost $ 2025 billion by 86.

At the same time, the Russian space industry is experiencing a serious shortage of funds. China's space program is better resourced, second only to the United States. But Beijing may not want to pay for a joint project with the Russians, and will focus on its own developments. But the creation of a joint inhabited lunar base is the prestige and the realization of the ambitions of the two countries, which until then only landed rovers on the moon. Therefore, the most important factor is политическая the will of both countries. But it can be undermined in several ways: internal problems, other priorities and future relations between Moscow and Beijing, and whether they will continue to compete with Washington.

China and Russia are promoting their joint lunar project, claiming that it will "benefit all of humanity." The plan faces significant but surmountable challenges. Other countries will have to choose between ILRS and Artemis, examining the viability and practical value of one or another project, the media concluded.

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  1. Cyril Offline Cyril
    Cyril (Kirill) 19 October 2021 13: 17
    We have again postponed the launch of the simple Luna-25 to the Moon. It is unlikely that China will be interested in equal cooperation.
  2. steelmaker Offline steelmaker
    steelmaker 19 October 2021 14: 43
    If Russia does not share its technologies, I doubt that such a project will be of interest to China. They will not give money for simple participation.
  3. beeper Online beeper
    beeper 19 October 2021 15: 28
    Well, Russia and China are the largest neighboring countries on the continent! drinks
    It is a sin not to use this "geographical (and not only!) Advantage" for close cooperation in the successful solution of important supranational problems!
    Even a Chinese proverb is like this

    The road of a thousand li begins with the first step!

    My mom always said that

    You need to get down to business and act, then everything will work out!

    And from psychology, we all know that people create the greatest obstacles for themselves, in their own brains! winked
    After all, practically everything that a person is able to think and mentally imagine is, in principle, feasible - the matter is only in the approaches and methods, the necessary level of development of science and technology! yes
    Designers are well aware of this feeling of "extraction from space", when from, at first, unsteady and ephemeral-transparent (even literally from their own dreams, such as the famous "prophetic dream of Oleg Konstantinovich Antonov" about the anti-flutter two-keel plumage of the Antey An-22 ), subjective ideas, intentions and speculative images, in the end appears "in the metal" quite a material object that can easily "be touched with your hands"! yes

    And for the Success of the Cause, one must always remember the "Stalinist dazibao" that

    Frames decide everything!

    And "for mutual cultural balance" - the inspiring "dazibao" from "Mao's quotation book" , shirts and thermoses ", chanting friendly" "Moscow-Beijing" -the trains are coming! ... "we began to look at each other through the sights and study" tactical techniques and training, equipment and weapons, emblems and distinctive features of the uniform of a private and command composition of the PLA "...):

    A person who has felt the wind of change should build a mill, not a protection from the wind!

    The Moon is a good step towards the Progress of all Humanity! good
    During my lifetime, I really want to see successfully operating peaceful inhabited stations on the surface of our satellite!

    It would be possible, Russia and China, and with the Americans to interact in these space issues, but something the current Washington authorities ("inappropriately" offended for the Crimea they did not get and, as a result, lost strategic control over the Black Sea region, and for the stubborn "non-armament" of the Kremlin in front of the "hegemons" -agressors of NATO) too anti-Russian "bit the bit"!
    And now, the American "graters" with China, greeted by the "elephantine" Trump, completely prevent the US leaders from adequately assessing the "circumlunar (and not only) situation" and their own "near-space capabilities"! request
  4. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 19 October 2021 16: 17
    Americans are now scaring taxpayers with cooperation between the Russian Federation and China, since to scare only Russia, after its endless cancellations and postponements of cosmo programs, is no longer possible
  5. Jacques sekavar Offline Jacques sekavar
    Jacques sekavar (Jacques Sekavar) 19 October 2021 18: 17
    As the head of Roscosmos said, the Sshasovites invited the Russian Federation to participate in the Artemis program on conditions that were unacceptably humiliating for the Russian Federation.
    It is unrealistic for the Russian Federation to explore the Moon alone for economic reasons.
    All that remains is to cooperate with the PRC on conditions acceptable to the Russian Federation.
    The fact that so far not a single state education has accepted the invitation of the Russian Federation and the PRC to become a participant in the ILRS does not mean anything, judging by the attractiveness of the PRC's global programs for the whole world, one of which is the Lunar Program.
    Western hysteria about any cooperation between the Russian Federation and the PRC is associated with the growth of the PRC's world influence due to a proportional decrease in the “western” one.
  6. Demonlivi Offline Demonlivi
    Demonlivi (Dima) 19 October 2021 19: 34
    You need to ask for a trampoline mask
  7. ont65 Offline ont65
    ont65 (Oleg) 20 October 2021 11: 09
    The newspaper stamped a reminder article so that this aspect of the confrontation would not be forgotten. And in fact it is not there - activities are underway, budgets are being mastered, and only Musk is in a hurry. They wave a pen to him on Mars, he needs it. America exploded 6 times by launching Apollo and this 'achievement' will not be repeated by anyone another time. Musk found a solution, albeit not cheap, but actually capable of making manned flights available to the United States on an ongoing basis, at least in the Lunar program. The PRC has money, but it is not endless. The Russian Federation will have to look for its feasible path and China will not help in any way, it also thinks about yesterday. After the 30th, the Russian Federation and the United States and China will be able to offer cargo transportation by an interorbital tug in small volumes for comparable money, but nothing more. Launching the Angara-A5V will not be cheap, and superheavy will not solve the problem of high cost, whatever it may be. The reusability of the RF Mask will be beyond our means, but with reasonable logistics, by delimiting the tasks of delivery to orbit and launches to the Moon, as it will be implemented in Nuklon, in the presence of a modern analogue of RD-0410, it is possible to sufficiently increase the efficiency of fuel use in terms of the possibilities of its launch Hangar for the lunar shuttle delivery and takeoff / landing -
    analogue of the Crown of Makeyevites space-based. Delivering only fuel and crew to orbit is still cheaper than building an entire train with all the equipment. The Russian Federation is quite capable of solving such a problem of access to deep space.