Roscosmos Eyes Crewed Flights from French Guiana, Seeks Partners for Lunar Base with China

A Soyuz-2 launches the CSO-2 defense satellite on Dec. 29, 2020. (Credit: Arianespace)
  • Roscosmos head discussed launching cosmonauts from Kourou with French counterpart
  • Russian-Chinese lunar south pole base is rival to planned U.S. facility
  • Russia to begin design work on new Earth orbiting station by late summer

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Roscosmos is exploring the possibility of launching spacecraft from the Guiana Space Centre in South America that would carry cosmonauts to the new Chinese space station and a base that Russia and China plan to build at the lunar south pole, according to media reports. Russia is also beginning work on a new Earth orbiting space station.

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JAXA, Honda to Begin a Feasibility Study on Circulative Renewable Energy System for Lunar Outposts, Rovers

Conceptual pressurized crewed lunar rover. (Credit: JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA/Honda PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Honda R&D Co., Ltd. (Honda) today announced the plan to begin a joint feasibility study on a “circulative renewable energy system” in space, which is designed to supply oxygen, hydrogen, and electricity for human outposts and rovers. JAXA and Honda have been conducting a joint research on this system to create an environment in space where people can stay and conduct activities over an extended period of time.

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Video: NASA Supported Lunar Analog Base Being Built in North Dakota

During the ISPCS last week, I caught up with Ihrenes Enterprises CEO and Founder Irene Schnider. Her startup company is focused on providing space radiation analysis for human missions, with a focus on commercial flights that are set to begin later in the decade. She is also involved in building a lunar analog base in North Dakota with the help of NASA funding.