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They were confirmed Wednesday (local time) by Pal Hvistendahl, a spokesman for the European Space Agency, or ESA.

The European Space Agency (ESA) and China's space exploration arm China National Space Administration have held talks in regards to building a moon-base, a spokesperson for the ESA confirmed. "Space has changed since the space race of the '60s".

China has already announced that it is planning to reach the darker side of the moon by 2018 and there will be a Mars mission by 2020. There is no timeline for when the "moon village" would be established or operational, but it does indicate that Beijing has huge ambitions in space exploration.

Meanwhile, ESA director general Johann-Dietrich Woerner mentioned the proposed "Moon Village" and said it would be an global launching pad for future missions to Mars and serve as a tool to develop space tourism and lunar mining. The "moon village" is also seen to support business ventures like space mining missions and tourism.

Pal Hvistendahl, a representative from the ESA, said:"We recognise that to explore space for peaceful purposes, we do worldwide cooperation".

The ESA hopes to conduct a mission analysis on samples brought back by this year's Chinese mission, known as Chang'e 5, and also have a European flying on the Chinese space station at some future date, Hvistendahl said.

Recently, China has sent a space lab, Tiangong 2, into Earth's orbit to rival the International Space Station, and in doing so became only the third nation to independently get people into space. ESA will use huge 3D printers to build the base with the moon's natural resources. The lunar outpost could provide unique opportunities to study the moon in great detail, said Jiao.

That is why there is a perception that China has been a laggard in space programs compared with big powers like the United States or Russian Federation.

A partnership between Europe and China's space agencies could pave the way for the first human settlement on the moon simply called the "Moon Village".

"The Moon village idea is an open idea, free and open access".

China and the United States don't work together in space because of national security concerns.


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