from the To-the-moon,-Alice...-To-the-Moon! dept.
China will begin recruiting civilians for crewed space missions, rather than limiting the space program to military personnel:
China will begin recruiting civilian astronauts for its military-backed space program and plans to increase the number of crewed missions to around two a year, a top official with the country's space program said.
China's third batch of astronaut trainees will include recruits from industry, research institutions and universities who will help build and crew China's independent space station, Yang Liwei, deputy director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office, told reporters on the sidelines of the annual session of China's ceremonial parliament.
Russia and China have agreed to collaborate on future missions:
Russia and China have agreed to create a joint data center for lunar and deep space projects, Russian space agency Roscosmos has announced. The projects will involve Russian and Chinese scientific and industrial bodies and companies, Roscosmos said in a statement on Saturday.
Roscosmos and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) also signed an agreement of intent on cooperation over moon and deep space research, at the International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF) in Tokyo. The countries will also look into the possibilities of providing assistance for each other's lunar programs. That would include the launch of the Russian Luna-26 orbiter in 2022, and the Chinese planned landing on the south pole of the moon scheduled for 2023.
First, the Artemis Accords go beyond simply rejecting the unpopular 1979 Moon Agreement, which declared lunar resources to be the "common heritage of mankind" and committed parties to establish an international regime to oversee space mining. Only 18 countries have signed the treaty.
In its place, the accords envisage a US-centric framework of bilateral agreements in which "partner nations" agree to follow US-drafted rules.
Second, the accords introduce the concept of "safety zones" around lunar operations.
Although territorial claims in space are prohibited under international law, these safety zones would seek to protect commercial and scientific sites from inadvertent collisions and other forms of "harmful interference". What kinds of conduct could count as harmful interference remains to be determined.
(2020-06-02) Third European Service Module for Artemis Mission to Land Astronauts on the Moon
(2020-05-16) NASA Wants Partner Nations to Agree to "Artemis Accords" for Lunar Exploration
(2020-03-12) CoronaVirus (SARS-CoV-2) Roundup 2020-03-12
(2018-07-22) Who Owns The Moon? A Space Lawyer Answers
(2018-03-07) China to Recruit Civilian Astronauts, Partner With Russia on Upcoming Missions
(2018-01-09) Russia Assembles Engineering Group for Lunar Activities and the Deep Space Gateway
(2017-10-18) Bigelow and ULA to Put Inflatable Module in Orbit Around the Moon by 2022
(2015-11-26) Who Owns Space? USA's Asteroid-Mining Act is Dangerous and Potentially Illegal
Robert Heinlein explored the notion in a novel. Does the future of space exploration lie with governments or corporations?