Space Stories: Russia Sticks with ISS, Czechs Join Artemis Accords, and China Plans for Sample Return from Far Side of Moon

Image (Credit): The International Space Station. (Roscosmos)

Here are some recent stories of interest. “Russia Will Use International Space Station ‘Until 2028’

Russia said Wednesday it planned to use the International Space Station until 2028, an apparent reversal of an earlier announcement to quit the orbiting laboratory after 2024. On Wednesday, the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, Yuri Borisov, said Moscow’s participation in the international space project had been extended. “By the decision of the government, the operation of the International Space Station has been extended until 2028,” Borisov told President Vladimir Putin during a televised meeting, referring to the Russian segment. “Czech Republic signs Artemis Accords

The Czech Republic became the 24th country to sign the Artemis Accords May 3, growing Europe’s presence in the U.S.-led agreement. In a brief ceremony at NASA Headquarters, Jan Lipavský, minister of foreign affairs for the Czech Republic, formally signed the accords in the presence of officials from NASA and the U.S. State Department. Representatives of several other countries who previously signed the Artemis Accords also attended…Neither U.S. nor Czech officials announced specific plans to cooperate on the Artemis lunar exploration campaign as a result of signing the accords, but suggested the signing opened the door for future discussions. “China to Launch 1st-ever Sample Return Mission to Moon’s Far Side in 2024

China will attempt to collect the first samples from the far side of the moon next year with its Chang’e 6 mission. The complex, four-spacecraft mission will launch on a Long March 5 rocket from Wenchang in May 2024, according to Wu Yanhua, chief designer of China’s Deep Space Exploration Major Project, speaking at a deep-space exploration conference on April 25 in the Chinese city of Hefei.