China and Russia unveiled the project to build the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS). The presentation took place this Wednesday (16) during the Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX) in St. Petersburg, Russia.
In addition, Roscosmos and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) said they are in talks with partner space agencies. Among them, the European Space Agency (ESA) and agencies from Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Part of an agreement signed between the countries in March, the IRLS will consist of a space station in lunar orbit and a base on the surface of the star. Furthermore, there will be investments in rovers and robots that will act in the initial stages of the project.
According to the planning shown at GLEX, the recognition phase should start later this year. In 2025, participating space agencies will choose the location for the moon base, and construction is expected to take place between 2026 and 2035.
Following this agenda, ILRS is expected to start operating in 2036. The facility will house laboratories for topography, geomorphology, chemistry and lunar geology studies.
Furthermore, the structure will allow observations of space and Earth from the surface of the Moon. The station and base are also expected to serve as a support for future space explorations.