International Lunar Research Station (ILRS)
CountryChina, Russia
OrganizationCNSA, Roscosmos
PurposeCrewed lunar exploration and research
Program history
DurationReconnaissance: 2021–2025
Construction: 2026–2035
Utilization: from 2036

The International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) (Chinese: 国际月球科研站) is a planned lunar base currently being developed by Roscosmos and the China National Space Administration. The ILRS will serve as a comprehensive scientific experiment base built on the lunar surface or in lunar orbit that can carry out multi-disciplinary and multi-objective scientific research activities including exploration and utilization, lunar-based observation, basic scientific experiment and technical verification, and long-term autonomous operation. Statements from Roscosmos and CNSA underline that the project will be "open to all interested countries and international partners."[1][2][3][4]


On 16 June 2021, Roscosmos and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) held a joint session in St. Petersburg on the auspices of the Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX 2021), dedicated to the presentation of the Roadmap for the creation of the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS). The session was attended by Sergei Saveliev, the Deputy Director General of Roscosmos for International Cooperation and Wu Yanhua, the Vice Administrator of CNSA (remotely).

Roscosmos and CNSA representatives held consultations on a draft declaration in September 2021, together with experts from Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Thailand and the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs. The talks took place behind closed doors.[5]

Definition and composition

ILRS is a complex experimental research facility to be constructed with a possible attraction of partners on the surface and/or in the orbit of the Moon designed for multi-discipline and multi-purpose scientific research activities, including exploration and use of the Moon, Moon-based observation, fundamental research experiments, and technology verification with the capability of long-term unmanned operation with the prospect of subsequent human presence.[6]

Scientific objectives



Phase 1: Reconnaissance (2021–2025)


List of missions (Includes Potential Missions of Other Partners)
Date Country (Agency) Launch Vehicle Spacecraft Image Status
7 December 2018 China China (CNSA) LM-3B Chang'e 4
ChangE-4 - PCAM.png
2023 Russia Russia (Roscosmos) Soyuz-2 Luna 25
Maquette-Luna-Glob-Lander-b-DSC 0075.jpg
November 2024 Russia Russia (Roscosmos) Soyuz-2 Luna 26
Maquette-Luna-Resurs-Orbiter-DSC 0076.jpg
2024 China China (CNSA) LM-5 Chang'e 6 Planned
2024 China China (CNSA)

United Arab Emirates UAE (Rover)

LM-5 Chang'e 7 Planned
August 2025 Russia Russia (Roscosmos) Soyuz-2 Luna 27
Lunar-Resurs-DSC 0019.jpg

Phase 2: Construction (2026–2035)

Stage 1 (2026–2030):[6][7]

Stage 2 (2031–2035):[6][7]

Phase Includes two normal missions and five Crucial Missions
Missions Objectives Date Country(Agency) Launch Vehicle Spacecraft Image Status
2027 China China (CNSA) LM-5 Chang'e 8 Planned
2027 Russia Russia (Roscosmos) Angara A5 Luna 28 Planned
5 crucial missions planned for comprehensive establishment of ILRS to complete the in-orbit and surface facilities between 2030 and 2035
ILRS-1 "Establishment of the command center, basic energy, and
telecommunication facilities, to satisfy the needs of lunar
infrastructure, lunar autonomous operations, and long-term
research exploration."[6]
2031 TBA LM-9 or Yenisei TBA Planned
ILRS-2 "Establishment of lunar research and exploration
facilities such as lunar physics, geological profiling,
lava tube exploration, lunar sample return."[6]
2032 TBA LM-9 or Yenisei TBA Planned
ILRS-3 "Establishment of lunar in-situ resources utilization
technology verification facilities."[6]
2033 TBA LM-9 or Yenisei TBA Planned
ILRS-4 "Verification of the general technologies for the lunar
biomedical experiment distributes sample collection
and return."[6]
2034 TBA LM-9 or Yenisei TBA Planned
ILRS-5 "Establishment of Lunar-based astronomy and earth
observation capabilities."[6]
2035 TBA LM-9 or Yenisei TBA Planned

Phase 3: Utilization (from 2036)


See also


  1. ^ Jones, Andrew (9 March 2021). "China, Russia enter MoU on international lunar research station". SpaceNews. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  2. ^ "China and Russia to build lunar space station". BBC News. 10 March 2021. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  3. ^ "China, Russia agree to build lunar research station". Associated Press. 10 March 2021. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  4. ^ Roscosmos [@roscosmos] (16 June 2021). "Видеоконцепция создания Международной научной лунной станции" [Video concept of the creation of the International Lunar Research Station] (Tweet) (in Russian). Retrieved 16 June 2021 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ "Russia, China to present lunar station declaration at congress in Dubai late Oct". TASS. Retrieved 2021-09-28.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) Guide for Partnership". CNSA. 16 June 2021. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  7. ^ a b Jones, Andrew (16 June 2021). "China, Russia reveal roadmap for international moon base". SpaceNews. Retrieved 16 June 2021.