They say the project will be open to other countries.
Russia and China plan to work together to build a research station on the Moon. In an announcement spotted by Ars Technica, the two countries said they will collaborate on an “International Lunar Science Station.” There aren’t many details on the project yet, but Roscosmos, Russia’s national space agency, suggests it could include facilities both in orbit around the Moon and on its surface. It will also be open to other nations to join.
China and Russia were the two countries that were notably missing from NASA’s Artemis Accords. Announced in October,the agreement seeks to create a template for peaceful, cooperative and transparent exploration of the Moon. Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, said the Lunar Gateway, a space station NASA plans to build in orbit around the Moon as part of Project Artemis, was too “US-centric.” That’s despite the fact NASA and Roscosmos have collaborated productively for decades on the International Space Station and the same agreement that made the ISS possible will govern the Lunar Gateway. Rogozin later left open the possibility for the two space agencies to work together again, but with Roscosmos now partnering with China, the chances of that happening look much less likely.