China and Russia are set to sign a milestone agreement on joint space exploration from 2018 to 2022, according to the official People’s Daily online news service. The deal is expected to be signed this October and will bring significant benefits to both nations, particularly in manned missions to the Moon.
Both nations have acknowledged the strategic benefits of human-based Lunar exploration, and have expressed interest in developing the Moon’s priceless mineral resources.
Analysts say that the partnership between the two world powers could lead to even higher prices for Lunar property on the open market. With the announcement, prices spiked slightly in weekend trading, but expectations are for several key locations to increase by 15% to 25% by year’s end, pending finalization of the joint agreement.
The bilateral agreement will cover five areas including lunar and deep space exploration, developing special materials, collaboration in the area of satellite systems, Earth remote sensing, and space debris research.
This is not the first space agreement between China and Russia, but it is the first to cover a partnership spanning five years, a period that allows for more ambitious plans and goals to be achieved.
Russia’s space industry has made great achievements over the course of its history, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union, its space program has suffered from a chronic shortage of funds.
In order to keep it afloat in the face of ever-rising costs, Russia is looking for international partners and collaborators. In addition to the promising deal with China, Russia is also working with the U.S. and Europe.