After months of simmering, unnerving manoeuvres, America and its armed-to-the-teeth counterpart, Russia, have done something pleasant together – even if it might be a mere gesture.
Taking part in the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Australia, the two former foes/then sort of friends/then sort of foes again signed a joint statement outlining their intentions to construct a moon base together.
The document doesn’t commit either country to actually building the thing, but talks of a ‘common vision’, which is nice. NASA and Roscosmos (which is Russian for ‘NASA’) will now in theory team up and identify ‘common exploration objectives’.
Robert Lightfoot, NASA’s acting administrator, said: ‘While the deep space gateway is still in concept formulation, NASA is pleased to see growing international interest in moving into cislunar [between the earth and the moon] space as the next step for advancing human space exploration. Statements such as this one signed with Roscosmos show the gateway concept as an enabler to the kind of exploration architecture that is affordable and sustainable.’
Meanwhile, Roscosmos’ head, Igor Komarov, said that other countries, such as Brazil and China, were also welcome to join in and help build the lunar station, too, if they liked. Bring money and a spanner.
Now, watch as they build it and a million ‘experts’ call it ‘the faked moon base’.