The delegation of China’s space administration will hold talks with Roskosmos on the possibility of creating a joint orbital station.
Earlier Roskosmos and the national space administration of China agreed to significantly expand cooperation in the projects of studying the moon and creating joint orbital groups.
The visit of the delegation to Moscow is planned at the end of this week. The issue of cooperation in the field of manned programs will be discussed with Chinese colleagues. In particular, they are expected to propose for discussion the possibility of creating a joint space station.
According to him, the Chinese side, which plans to begin construction of a multi-module space station in the next few years, is interested in the Russian experience of long space flights and construction of large space objects. In addition, China does not have a number of critical technologies and is ready to offer its partnership in exchange for them.
Rosmosmos executive director for business and commercialization Anton Zhiganov earlier said that Russia is counting on cooperation with China in creating a superheavy missile. The Secretary-General of the Chinese National Space Administration, Yulong Tian, subsequently confirmed this data.
China in 2011 became the third country after the USSR and the US, which launched its orbital station. In its functions, “TianGong-1” (“Heavenly Palace 1”), which recently left the orbit, is similar to the Soviet stations of the “Almaz” and “Salyut” series and is intended for testing the processes of docking with spacecraft and testing the systems of autonomous life support for astronauts. During its existence, “TianGong-1” visited three expeditions (2011, 2012 and 2013). In 2016, communication with the station was lost.
In 2016, China launched the TianGong-2 station. Like the first, this station is visited, not permanently inhabited.
In 2020, China plans to begin construction of a multi-module station. It should consist of three compartments and two docking nodes for spacecraft or the addition of new modules.
Russia is currently participating in the project of the International Space Station, the operation of which is planned until 2024. To complete the construction of its segment of Russia, it remains to launch three compartments – a multifunctional laboratory module, a node module and a scientific and energy module. Their launches are planned, respectively, for 2019, 2020 and 2022. The possibility of extending the station until 2028 is discussed. If this does not happen, after the completion of the work of the ISS, Russia intends to undock its new modules and create a national Russian orbital station.
In addition, the possibility of Russia’s participation in the creation of the Lunar Orbital Platform – Gateway near the moon is being discussed with ISS partners.