More partners, including one country and two international organizations, will participate in the construction and operation of the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS), the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced on Wednesday.

The latest progress in the China-initiated ILRS program was revealed at the China Space Day launch ceremony in Wuhan. New partners include Nicaragua, the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization and the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences.

China will collaborate with these three parties on various issues relating to ILRS, including its demonstration, engineering implementation, operation and application, according to the CNSA. Administration officials signed agreements and memoranda of understanding on cooperation with representatives of the three parties.

Construction of the International Lunar Research Station will be carried out in three phases, and a basic model of the facility is expected to be completed around 2030. According to the CNSA, the research station will operate autonomously for an extended period of time, with short-term human participation.

Since 2016, China has chosen April 24 as China Space Day to mark the launch of its first satellite, “Dongfanghong-1,” into space on April 24, 1970.


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