NASA confirmed Wednesday morning that it is partnering up with Russia to build a space station near the moon.The declaration is part of a project the space agency unveiled in March, dubbed “Deep-Space Gateway,” which is meant to increase human presence in the solar system.
The partnership comes after Russia was reportedly considering taking on the mission by itself, but it was deemed too expensive.
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. The work is expected to begin in the 2020s.
In a statement, NASA explained the alliance with the Russian Space Agency, called Roscosmos, ensures it has the “strategic capability” to carry out the lunar mission, which would explore the area surrounding the moon. It also makes executing the mission more affordable.