International cooperation is likely to become a driving force for space exploration and scientific development, instead of the nationalistic competition that fueled it during the original Space Race of the mid 20th century. In the spirit of this cooperation, Chinese media is reporting that Beijing and Moscow are close to signing an agreement to conduct joint space exploration missions between 2018 and 2022. The deal is expected to be signed in October.
According to Sputnik News, "The deal would cover five areas, including lunar and deep space exploration, satellite systems, space debris research and Earth remote sensing." Additionally, word from the Russian news agency TASS shows our former Soviet competitor is also exploring partnerships with other nations, including India, Brazil, South Africa, Nicaragua, Myanmar, Chile, Peru, and Armenia.
Russian space scientists see international cooperation as a boon for space exploration. "Building international partnership is, perhaps, the main strategic task for the entire Russian cosmonautics today," said Andrei Ionin, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics to TASS.
The Recent innovation in space travel has also opened up a literal universe of possibilities of non-governmental entities as well. SpaceX, in particular, is working to lower the cost of space exploration, to make it even more accessible to groups who may have never before had the opportunity or resources.