China and Russia are set to sign a milestone agreement on joint space exploration from 2018 to 2022.
The deal is expected to be signed this October and will bring significant benefits to both nations, particularly in manned and future missions to the moon.
The idea and possibility of once again having humans return to the moon have floated around for quite some time, but after this deal, that prospect is likely to turn into a reality.
The bilateral agreement will cover five areas including lunar and deep space exploration, developing special materials, collaboration in the area of satellite systems, Earth remote sensing, and space debris research.
This is not the first space agreement between China and Russia, but it is the first to cover a partnership spanning five years, a period that allows for more ambitious plans and goals to be achieved.
Russia's space industry has made great achievements over the course of its history, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union, its space program has suffered from a chronic shortage of funds.
In order to keep it afloat in the face of ever rising costs, Russia is looking for international partners and collaborators. In addition to the promising deal with China, Russia is also working with the U.S. and Europe.