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COLORADO SPRINGS (Sputnik) – The head of the German Space Agency at DLR, Walther Pelzer, told Sputnik he plans to discuss the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) initiative with Roscosmos during a next meeting, which he hopes to attend through his leader Dmitry Rogozin.

In March, Russia reaffirmed its lunar exploration ambitions by signing a memorandum of cooperation with China’s National Space Administration on the establishment of ILRS.

“I will discuss it [ILRS] with Roscosmos. As far as I know, we already have an appointment, and then we can go into more detail, but at the moment we’re not that far, “Pelzer said.

Pelzer, speaking to Sputnik on the sidelines of the 36th Space Symposium, said he was unsure whether Rogozin would be part of the meeting, but expressed hope he would attend.

ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher told Sputnik earlier that member states of the European Space Agency (ESA) are discussing an offer made by Russia and China on possible ILRS participation. , but no decision has yet been made.

© Photo: Roscosmos

Basic plans of the Russian moon

Pelzer has refrained from giving exact policy statements on the issue to maintain a unified position among the agencies.

“We are aware of this offer and as Josef said, he is now in the discussion and coming back with more details about the offer… but we will not be offering separate positions until the discussion,” Pelzer said.

ILRS was designed as a scientific experimentation base on the lunar surface and orbit aimed at carrying out multidisciplinary and multi-objective scientific research activities, including lunar exploration and observation.

At the end of March, Russian scientists also announced their intention to send a capsule containing microorganisms to the Moon and leave it for several years to assess the effect of lunar conditions on biological objects.

German space agency chief says he is committed to ISS amid talks about Russian orbital station

Pelzer noted that they are engaged and focused on the International Space Station (ISS) for the time being, commenting on possible cooperation with Russia on a separate spacecraft.

“At the moment, we have a clear commitment to the ISS. That’s what we’re focusing on,” Pelzer said on the sidelines of the 36th Space Symposium, when asked about a potential Russian orbital station.

At the end of July, the Scientific and Technical Council of Roscosmos recommended to lay the foundations for the construction of a new national space station “in order to avoid the risks associated with the technical condition of the Russian section of the ISS, and [due to] plans to end its use by 2028. “

On August 30, Roscosmos Deputy Director General for International Cooperation Sergei Saveliev told Sputnik that Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, is expected to discuss the possibility of expanding the operation of the ISS in a meeting with NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in October. in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

When asked if the possibility of extending the life of the space station beyond 2024 would be discussed at the meeting in Dubai, Saveliev replied “Absolutely”.

Head of German space agency says happy Russia added Nauka module to ISS

Pelzer also told Sputnik he was happy that Russia brought the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module to the International Space Station (ISS).

Nauka docked with the ISS on July 29 after 14 years of waiting on Earth and eight days of orbital flight. This is the first Russian module sent to the station for 11 years. The module was originally scheduled to enter orbit in 2007, but the launch has been repeatedly postponed for various reasons.

“From my point of view and, I am very happy that Russia brought up this new element,” Pelzer said on the sidelines of the 36th Space Symposium.

Three hours after docking, its engines spontaneously triggered, causing the station to turn 45 degrees. The space station’s engines had to be turned on in order to compensate for the change.

Roscosmos executive director for manned spaceflight Sergey Krikalev said in early August that a special commission had been formed to establish the causes of the unplanned activation of the engines of the Russian multipurpose laboratory module Nauka after it was docked at the ISS.

New German government likely to support ISS expansion

Berlin’s new government will likely support the extension of the International Space Station (ISS) until 2030, Pelzer told Sputnik.

Germany is set to hold a crucial Bundestag election on September 26, effectively electing a new chancellor as longtime leader Angela Merkel is set to step down after 15 years at the helm.

“We will have the new government in a few weeks. But I am sure they will support this decision to go at least until 2030,” Pelzer said.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told Sputnik he hopes U.S.-Russia cooperation in the ISS will continue beyond 2030.

When asked if he expected exploration of the ISS to be extended, Nelson replied, “Yes. Until 2030. And Russia is our partner on the ISS.”

German space agency hopes to foster greater cooperation with Russia

The German space agency DLR is working to strengthen cooperation with Russia, Pelzer said.

“Russia is, from our point of view, a very, very important partner. And that’s why I’m actually trying to have more meetings, not only with Roscosmos but also with former astronauts. “said Pelzer. “I’m trying to get in touch to really foster our cooperation.”

Speaking to Sputnik on the sidelines of the 36th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, US, Pelzer also pointed out that the German-Russian Icarus Animal Migration Monitoring System is an example of successful collaboration.

“When we look at, for example, ICARUS, we are very proud to have jointly implemented this project on the ISS. We have few other projects that we do together,” he explained. “So from that point of view, I think there’s a lot of room to do more together.”

Icarus was launched in early 2020 as a joint project between the Max Planck Society, DLR and Roscosmos to observe the migration patterns and behavioral movements of birds, mammals and insects around the world.


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