Rogozin Courts Chinese Cooperation on ExoMars, Space Station

Vladimir Putin receives a briefing from Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: Office of the Russian President)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The Chinese government-owned CGTN website has an interview with Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin. With relations severely damaged with the West due to sanctions imposed over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Roscosmos is increasingly focused on deepening cooperation with China’s surging space program. The partnership already includes jointly developing a crewed base on the moon in the 2030s.

On the suspended ExoMars mission with Europe, Rogozin said:

“In the construction of ExoMars, the main element is the landing module. The Mars research rover is not the essential element. I think we can make this mission happen with another partner like China or someone else.”

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Tiny Crystal Could Power Lunar Settlement

Iron pyrite crystal (Credit: TalTech)

TALLINN, Estonia (ESA PR) — This crystal of iron pyrite, just four hundredths of a millimetre in size, could function as the light absorbing layer of a tiny solar cell – potentially a promising future source of power on the Moon.

Working with Estonia’s Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech), ESA has studied the production of sandpaper-like rolls of such microcrystals as the basis of monograin-layer solar cells.

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NASA Prompts Companies for Artemis Lunar Terrain Vehicle Solutions

Lunar Terrain Vehicle (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA is asking American companies for additional input on approaches and solutions for a vehicle to transport Artemis astronauts around the lunar South Pole later this decade.

The lunar terrain vehicle (LTV), an unenclosed rover that astronauts can drive on the Moon while wearing their spacesuits, will need to last at least 10 years, spanning multiple Artemis missions.

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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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Statement by Roscosmos and CNSA on the Creation of the Lunar Station

The Roscosmos State Corporation and the China National Space Administration have adopted a joint statement on cooperation in the creation of the International Scientific Lunar Station (INLS).

“Taking into account the experience of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China in the field of space science, the creation and use of space technology and space technologies, recognizing the mutual interest in the creation of the International Scientific Lunar Station, guided by the legislation of their states, generally recognized principles and norms of international law, international treaties, of which their states are participants, and to carry out cooperation on the principles of equality, openness and honesty, hereby jointly publish a statement on cooperation in the field of creating an MNLS, ” the document says.

MNLS is a complex of experimental research facilities created on the surface and / or in orbit around the Moon with the possible involvement of other countries, international organizations and other international partners. It is designed to carry out multidisciplinary and multipurpose research activities, including the exploration and use of the moon, lunar observations, fundamental research experiments and technology verification, with the possibility of long-term unmanned operation with the prospect of ensuring the presence of a person.

At the same time, the parties emphasize that the MNLS is open to all international partners interested in cooperation in the planning, justification, design, development, implementation and operation of the MNLS, strengthening research exchanges and promoting the peaceful exploration and use of outer space in the interests of all mankind. The parties welcome the material and non-material contribution of international partners to cooperation in the field of the creation of MNLS in any aspect of the mission at every stage and are convinced that cooperation will be mutually beneficial for all participants.

Russia and China traditionally strive to develop cooperation in the field of space technologies, space science and the use of outer space. To date, within the framework of interaction in the field of lunar and deep space exploration, an Agreement has been signed and is being successfully implemented between the Roscosmos State Corporation and the China National Space Administration on cooperation in the framework of coordination of the Russian mission with the Luna-Resurs-1 orbital spacecraft and the Chinese research mission the polar region of the Moon Chang’e-7, as well as the Agreement between the State Corporation Roscosmos and the Chinese National Space Administration on cooperation in the creation of a joint data center for the exploration of the Moon and deep space.

ROXY Turns Moon Dust into Oxygen

ROXY enables the design of a small, simple, compact and cost-efficient regolith to oxygen and metals conversion facility, and is therefore ideally suited to support a wide range of future exploration missions. (Credit: Airbus Defence and Space)
  • New technology from Airbus achieves breakthrough
  • Chemical reduction process opens new horizons in human space exploration
  • Emission-free method could also contribute to UN sustainability goals on Earth

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN/DRESDEN/BOSTON/SEVILLE (Airbus PR) – An international team led by Airbus Defence and Space (Friedrichshafen, Germany) with scientists from Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM (Dresden, Germany), Boston University (Massachusetts, USA) and Abengoa Innovación (Seville, Spain) has successfully demonstrated the production of oxygen and metals from simulated lunar dust (regolith) with the Airbus-invented process named ROXY (Regolith to OXYgen and Metals Conversion). Airbus believes ROXY could revolutionise human space exploration.

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Why Build a Moon Base When You Can Just Print It?

Multi-dome lunar base being constructed, based on the 3D printing concept. Once assembled, the inflated domes are covered with a layer of 3D-printed lunar regolith by robots to help protect the occupants against space radiation and micrometeoroids. (Credit: Foster + Partners)
Multi-dome lunar base being constructed, based on the 3D printing concept. Once assembled, the inflated domes are covered with a layer of 3D-printed lunar regolith by robots to help protect the occupants against space radiation and micrometeoroids. (Credit: Foster + Partners)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Setting up a lunar base could be made much simpler by using a 3D printer to build it from local materials. Industrial partners including renowned architects Foster + Partners have joined with ESA to test the feasibility of 3D printing using lunar soil.

“Terrestrial 3D printing technology has produced entire structures,” said Laurent Pambaguian, heading the project for ESA.

“Our industrial team investigated if it could similarly be employed to build a lunar habitat.”

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