NASA announced Wednesday the U.S. agency is partnering with the Russians on space exploration goals.
“Building a strategic capability for advancing and sustaining human space exploration in the vicinity of the Moon will require the best from NASA, interested international partners, and U.S. industry. As NASA continues formulating the deep space gateway concept, the agency signed a joint statement with the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia,” according to a statement from NASA.
The move is the opposite of America’s approach to space travel in the 1960s when former President John F. Kennedy ordered NASA to beat the Russians to the moon due to fear that the Kremlin would control it.
NASA said both countries have a common vision for human exploration and see the deep space gateway as a “strategic component of human space exploration.”
“While the deep space gateway is still in concept formulation, NASA is pleased to see growing international interest in moving into cislunar space as the next step for advancing human space exploration,” NASA’s acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement. “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.”
As a result of the partnership, NASA will expand its presence of humans in outer space, starting with the moon and then deep space exploration.
“At least five countries are working on the creation of their own manned spacecraft and systems. In order to avoid problems in the future in technical cooperation, part of the standards should be unified – for the ability of different countries to work on their products and to join the international near-moon station. Part of the key standards will be formed on the basis of Russian developments. The agreements reached open new prospects for international cooperation and expand the opportunities for using the capabilities of the Russian space industry,” Igor Komarov, general director of Roskosmos State Corporation, said in a statement.