US, Russia to build lunar space station

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NASA said the facility would serve as a gateway to both deep space and the lunar surface and would be developed, serviced and used in collaboration with commercial and worldwide partners.

The head of Roscosmos Igor Komarov explained at the International Astronautical Congress 2017 in Australia that China, India, and other BRICS countries may also take part in the project.

"We have agreed to join the project to build a new worldwide Deep Space Gateway station in the moon's orbit", Roscosmos head Igor Komarov said. "Taking into account the country's extensive experience in developing docking units, the station's future elements will be created using Russian designs", Romoscos said.

Russian Federation and the United States have agreed to create a lunar orbital station called Deep Space Gateway with the support of the BRICS nations, according to the head of Russia's space agency Roscosmos Igor Komarov.

Popular Mechanics has reported citing industry sources that Roscosmos was planning an "indigenous Earth-orbiting space station to follow up the ISS" besides the lunar programme to send Russian cosmonauts to the surface of the Moon but wasn't able to fund both.

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Russian Federation and the United States also discussed using Moscow's Proton-M and Angara rockets to help create the infrastructure of the lunar spaceport, the statement said, adding that the main works were scheduled to begin in the mid-2020s.

"We understand that we are key players and we have to work on these missions together", Komarov said.

"This joint statement reflects the common vision for human exploration that NASA and Roscosmos share", NASA said Wednesday.

The space station's exact concept is still under development, but it will involve a crew of astronauts, as it orbits and lands on the moon.

"That is a rather significant contribution".