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China talking with European Space Agency about moon outpost

29 April 2017
China talking with European Space Agency about moon outpost

They also are hoping to have a European flying on the Chinese space station in the future, Mr Hvistendahl said. On July 20, 1969, he was the second human being to set foot on the Moon, following mission commander Neil Armstrong.

Representatives from both groups, China's space agency and the European Space Agency (ESA) have begun discussing collaborative projects including the moonbase alongside other joint schemes, and as China continues to grow in the space exploration arena, a human outpost could benefit both parties.

"Space has changed since the space race of the '60s", he recently told Associated Press. There is no timeline for when the "moon village" would be established or operational, but it does indicate that Beijing has huge ambitions in space exploration. Furthermore, building a Moon base will also open the doors to space tourism or even mining on the lunar surface in the future. The base will serve as a potential worldwide launching pad for future missions to Mars and a chance to develop space tourism or even lunar mining. "We recognize that to explore space for peaceful purposes, we do need worldwide cooperation". Tian Yulong said the country's Chang'e-5 probe would accomplish its mission of collecting lunar rock samples by the end of this year. The moon is tidally locked to our planet, so we always see the same side of the moon.

At this point, the European Space Agency's collaboration with China is limited to participating in the analysis of samples brought back by the Chinese mission. The village would serve as a location for a community of worldwide researchers looking to work together. Just last week, the China National Space Administration launched an unmanned spacecraft on a mission to dock its space station.

While Europe, Russia and the U.S. have dominated space exploration, particularly the latter, China's entrance has been strong. Beijing aims to become a space superpower by 2030 with an advanced space infrastructure and aerospace industry.

Since Yang Liwei's manned mission in 2003, China's space program has grown rapidly. Also, China can not have space collaboration with the United States as space cooperation with China has been excluded by the latter under a law passed in 2011.