Flight International online news 11:30GMT: On 3 November the Russian and Chinese governments will begin preparations for a 10-year space co-operation programme that could lead to a manned Moon mission.

Chimoon - BIG

The joint programme is expected to begin in 2007 and China has already asked Russia to participate in its unmanned lunar probe programme.

However Russia has said it would not consider being involved beyond an advisory role until 2012 when the country is planning to launch a research probe to the Moon itself.

“After that, we may undertake a joint project designed for 5-10 years,” says Russian Federal Space Agency deputy chief Yury Nosenko.

Nonsenko expects that a manned mission will require geographic, geologic and ballistic studies of the Moon’s surface and the creation of spare parts bases and on-surface water reserves.


Source: Flight International