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Serbia Becomes the Latest Country to Join ILRS Program

Illustration displaying the China-led ILRS concept. Credit DSEL
Serbia Joins ILRS. Credit: DSEL

Ibadan, 13 May 2024. – Serbia has become the latest country to join the China-led International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) program. The Serbian Ministry of Science, Technological Development and Innovation signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the China National Space Administration (CNSA) in cooperation with the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) earlier this week. The MoU comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Serbia from May 7-8 2024.

In addition, to the MoU on cooperation regarding the ILRS, both parties also signed an MoU on cooperation in the field of innovation in the exploration and peaceful use of outer space.

On March 9, 2021, Zhang Kejian, the administrator of CNSA, and Rogozin, the General Manager of ROSCOSMOS, signed the MoU between China and the Russian Federation Regarding Cooperation for the Construction of the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS). Since then, various countries and firms have indicated interest in joining the program, with Serbia becoming the 11th and latest country to join the lunar cooperation program.

Within the framework of the ILRS, China, Russia, and other members will use their experience in space science, R&D and the use of space equipment and technology to jointly formulate a road map for the construction of the ILRS, and carry out the close collaboration on planning, demonstration, design, development, implementation and operation of the ILRS.

The ILRS will be a scalable and maintainable comprehensive scientific experiment facility that will operate autonomously on the lunar surface and lunar orbit, with short-term manned participation. It will have the ability to support energy supply, central control, communication& navigation, space-earth round trips, lunar scientific research and ground support. Furthermore, it will enable various multidisciplinary, multi-target, large-scale scientific and technological activities, including scientific exploration and research.

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