Russia, US to mull cooperation on Moon orbit station

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Representatives of Russian state space corporation Roscosmos and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will meet "closer to spring" to discuss Russia's joining the Lunar Gateway project, Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin said Thursday.

Russia could contribute a backup transport system since "you never know what can happen if there is only one," Rogozin was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency as saying.

In 2017, Roscosmos and NASA signed a joint statement, supporting research that could lead to the construction of a lunar orbital station, but later Roscosmos refused to participate over certain disagreements with NASA.

NASA said on its website that it is working with its partners to design and develop a small spaceship that will orbit the Moon called the Gateway, which will be a temporary home and office for astronauts.

In August, the Multilateral Coordination Board of the International Space Station issued a statement, in which Roscosmos "anticipates providing a multi-purpose crew airlock module for Gateway."

On Wednesday, Rogozin told RIA Novosti that Roscosmos had confirmed to NASA its readiness to discuss Russia's participation in the project.

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