This week China announced it had teamed up with Russia to build a new space station. Their next steps will be to come up with a design, a way to build it, a way to operate it and to present those plans to the rest of the world. They're calling the facility the International Lunar Scientific Research Station and Russia says it will be open to all interested countries and international partners.
The Soviet Union, from which Russia emerged in the early 1990s', had a space race with the United States. In 1957, the Soviet Union became the first country to launch a satellite into orbit. It was the first to launch animals and eventually a human into orbit. The United States had leapt ahead by 1969 when it landed men on the moon and Russia fell further behind in the space race following the collapse of the Soviet Union's communist government. In more recent years, Russia was a founding partner of the International Space Station, but China has not been allowed to participate in that project. The U.S. outlawed out of security concerns. That's part of the reason why it's significant that Russia partnered with China on the new space station. Experts say it could signal a new era of competition as opposed to cooperation when it comes to international space projects.
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