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article imageChina talking with European Space Agency on building moon outpost

By Karen Graham     Apr 26, 2017 in Technology
Representatives of the Chinese and European space agencies have been in talks over collaborating on a moon outpost as well as other space-related endeavors, according to Chinese media and a spokesman for the ESA.
Word on the discussions first came out when the secretary general for China's National Space Administration (CNSA), Tian Yulong, talked about the joint effort by the two agencies with the Chinese media. On Wednesday, the talks were confirmed by Pal Hvistendahl, a spokesman for the European Space Agency (ESA).
"The Chinese have a very ambitious moon program already in place,” Mr. Hvistendahl said, according to the UK's Independent. “Space has changed since the space race of the Sixties. We recognize that to explore space for peaceful purposes, we do need international cooperation.”
Buzz Aldrin was the Lunar Module pilot on Apollo 11. On July 20  1969  he was the second human being...
Buzz Aldrin was the Lunar Module pilot on Apollo 11. On July 20, 1969, he was the second human being to set foot on the Moon, following mission commander Neil Armstrong.
© NASA
The possibilities could be endless if international cooperation led to the creation of a human-occupied moonbase, or colony. This endeavor could lead to future exploration of Mars, lunar commercial mining, and tourism. The director general of the 22-member ESA, Johann-Dietrich Woerner, sees the proposed moonbase as having great potential for the two agencies.
China already has the next two years scoped out
Despite the technologies and science already being in place, China has only recently ramped up its space program since its first manned spaceflight in 2003, almost 42 years after a Russian cosmonaut became the first man to reach orbit. However, the Chinese space agency now has a full slate of projects for the near future.
To date, China is already planning on ESA cooperation in studying returned space rocks collected by an uncrewed craft that will be sent to the moon by the end of this year The mission is called " Chang’e 5," China also has a mission next year that will explore the far side of the moon, with the similar purpose of bringing back rock samples for study.
China s Long March 5 Rocket. The rocket will launch its unmanned spacecraft on a mission to the moon...
China's Long March 5 Rocket. The rocket will launch its unmanned spacecraft on a mission to the moon later this year.
China National Space Administration
And not forgetting China's space station, orbiting the Earth unmanned at this time, the ESA and CNSA are in discussions that would have an ESA astronaut flying aboard the space station at some future date. Just last week, China sent an uncrewed spacecraft to the orbiting station on a mission to dock with it.
Here's some space trivia for lovers of little known or remembered facts: China was excluded from participating or cooperating in the International Space Station largely due to U.S. legislation that barred their cooperation due to concerns over the Chinese space agency's close ties to their military.
More about moon outpost, China, Esa, International cooperation, Space