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space officials Mexican and Russian officials at Tuesday's signing.

Mexico, Russia sign accord to cooperate on space exploration

The agreement could see the two countries collaborate on manned space travel

Russia and Mexico signed an agreement for cooperation on space exploration Tuesday, taking advantage of the Russian delegation’s visit for the 200th anniversary of Independence.

The director of the Mexican Space Agency (AEM), Salvador Landeros Ayala, signed the agreement with the deputy general director of the Russian State Space Corporation (Roscosmos), Sergey Valentinovich Saveliev.

Areas of cooperation which could result from the accord are outer space exploration, including astrophysical research and planetary studies; remote observation of Earth from space; satellite communications; and information sharing, the newspaper El Universal reported.

Potential areas of cooperation include manned space travel and the shared use of spacecraft launch services, the study of spacial meteorology, space biology and medicine, and the mitigation and reduction of space debris.

The agreement will also provide a platform for academic exchange, with a focus on the use of space technology for social good. Priority areas will be medicine and distance education, the monitoring of climate change, agriculture, and the protection of citizens from natural disasters and fires.

The Mexican Space Agency’s Landeros said Russia’s history of space exploration had long inspired Mexico. “Russia’s pioneering activities in space have been an inspiration for the whole world, especially for Mexico, and we remember, for example, the incredible journey of Yuri Gagarin, the first human being in space in 1961, who after that achievement made a visit to our country. A year later, the National Commission for Outer Space was created here, the precursor of the current Mexican Space Agency, so we have a long history of good relations,” he said.

Mexico has made no secret of its space exploration ambitions. In July it joined Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Paraguay and Costa Rica in an agreement to form a Latin American regional space agency.

With reports from El Universal

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