The China National Space Administration (CNSA) has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding establishing collaboration between the Chinese and South African space agencies on the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) program.

The signing of this memorandum, which represents South Africa’s official inclusion in the ILRS programme, took place earlier this month. The Chinese ambassador to South Africa, Chen Xiaodong, on behalf of the CNSA, and Humbulani Mudau, director of the South African National Space Agency, were the signatories, as announced by the CNSA on its website.

South Africa’s participation in the ILRS program is a significant milestone that underlines the extent of space cooperation between China and South Africa, from near-Earth space to lunar exploration and deep space. This collaboration is expected to contribute to the advancement of space science and technology in both countries.

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The agreement establishes that both parties will carry out extensive cooperation in areas including demonstration, engineering implementation, operation and applications, as well as education and training related to the ILRS.

In addition to their cooperation in the ILRS program, the space agencies of China and South Africa have been working together within the framework of BRICS cooperation in the field of remote sensing satellite constellation. This has involved the exchange and application of remote sensing data, as well as the use of satellite ground stations for various purposes.

This collaboration reaffirms the commitment of both nations in space exploration and strengthens ties in the scientific and technological field, contributing to joint efforts for the advancement of space research and the expansion of our knowledge about the Moon and space beyond our planet.


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