The United States is interested in partnering with Russia to explore the moon under certain conditions, but it is unclear whether Moscow wants to participate in the process. This was stated by NASA President Jim Bridenstine during a webinar organized by the Washington Center for Strategic and International Studies, reports “Voice of America”.
In March 2019, US Vice President Mike Pence announced the acceleration of the moon landing program called “Artemis”. According to the updated plans, the flight to the Earth’s satellite should take place in 2024. The project costs up to $ 30 billion.
Earlier this year, Reuters reported that the United States is preparing an international agreement that provides for the extraction of minerals on the moon.
“I don’t want to say we’re going back there.” No, we are moving forward and intend to stay there, and later take all the accumulated knowledge with us to Mars, “- said the planned flight to the moon Breidenstein, -” And when we talk about all these opportunities as an element of power, it to some extent, it gives us the leverage to influence our international partners, the opportunity to impose conditions on what kind of behavior in space we expect from them, ”said Braidenstein.
According to Bridenstine, many states would like to participate in the US monthly program.
The head of NASA also noted that countries that “harm outer space and endanger space exploration” are unlikely to be invited to cooperate.
One of the issues addressed to Bridenstine was cooperation with Russia.
“Going to the moon, we would, of course, like to take our ISS partners with us. The question is whether Russia wants to be part of these plans and at what level. I do not have an answer to this question now. But we would definitely like to see continued cooperation. Even after we resume launches of American astronauts on American rockets, we should not forget that half of the ISS belongs to Russia. And if we expect to continue sharing it, we need to be prepared to fly there on Russian Soyuz, as well as send astronauts on our ships, “said Jim Bridenstine.
At the same time, the head of NASA made it clear that such cooperation should not make the United States dependent on foreign partners. According to him, situations where Russian rockets were the only means of delivering American astronauts into orbit can no longer be allowed.
“Since 2011, we have found ourselves in a situation where we are completely dependent on the Russian Unions. We give them cash, they launch our astronauts. This is not the kind of cooperation we would like. We are looking for an equal partnership, when both countries can use each other’s missiles, “Bridenstine said.