China and Russia have signed a long-term agreement to build a joint base on the moon.
During a virtual meeting, leading Chinese and Russian space authorities agreed to work together to construct a research station on the moon. The two countries claim the station will be open to other nations.
“China and Russia will use their accumulated experience in space science, research and development, and use of space equipment and space technology to jointly develop a road map for the construction of an international lunar scientific research station,” the China National Space Administration said in a statement.
This agreement is just the latest step in a growing partnership between the two countries. The nations hope to challenge America’s leadership in the space industry.
China and Russia have worked together to build advanced weaponry that can target satellites. They have also developed technology for a new generation in human spaceflight.
In response, the Trump administration created the Space Force and reinstituted the National Space Council to coordinate actions in space between government agencies and private companies.
President Joe Biden’s approach seems unclear, however. The White House is reportedly considering former senator Bill Nelson (D., Fla.) to take up the top position at NASA.
The Biden administration has already faced criticism for appearing to downplay the United States’ threats from space. Last month, Press Secretary Jen Psaki openly mocked the Space Force during a press conference.
Congressional Democrats continue to eye budget cuts for the Department of Defense, which may hinder the development of America’s newest military branch.