‘We’re in a space race’: NASA sounds the alarm about Chinese designs on the moon |  Space

‘We’re in a space race’: NASA sounds the alarm about Chinese designs on the moon | Space

‘We’re in a space race’: NASA sounds the alarm about Chinese designs on the moon | Space

The US is in a space race with China and the country must “be careful” that its rival does not gain a foothold and try to dominate lunar resources, the top NASA official has warned.

The review came from the NASA administrator, Bill Nelson, a former astronaut and senator from Florida, who further warned that China could eventually claim to “own” the resource-rich areas of the moon.

The battle between the US and China, he added, is intensifying and the next two years could determine which country gains an advantage.

“It is a fact: we are in a space race”, Nelson to Politico. “And it is true that we had better be careful that they do not get to a place on the moon under the guise of scientific research. And it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they’ll say, ‘Stay out, we’re here, this is our territory.’”

Nelson cited China’s aggression against islands in the South China Sea, where Beijing has established military bases, as evidence of its territorial ambition. “If you doubt that, look what they did to the Spratly Islands,” he said.

Last year, the Chinese space program put a space station in orbit and conducted several lunar orbit and sample retrieval missions. A third phase of the program, establishing an autonomous lunar research station near the south pole of the moon, is planned for 2025.

In December, the Chinese government offered his view for a manned moon landing, space transportation, infrastructure and space management. China has also announced the aim to land taikonauts on the moon by the end of this decade.

‘We’re in a space race’: NASA sounds the alarm about Chinese designs on the moon |  Space
Students listen to an introduction of the Chang’e 5 moon sample return spacecraft last month at the InnoTech Expo in Hong Kong, China. Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters

Meanwhile, NASA recently completed the 26-day Artemis I mission to take pictures of the lunar surface. Future missions aim to bring more lunar activity. However, the US is also targeting Mars.

The US military has also raised the alarm about China’s militarization of space and the associated security concerns.

“It’s quite possible they can catch up and outrun us,” said Space Force Lieutenant General Nina Armagno. said visiting Australia. “The progress they’ve made has been astounding — astonishingly fast.”

But Beijing has rejected some American interpretations of the motives behind China’s space travel. “Space is not a wrestling area,” Liu Pengyu, spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, told Politico.

The spokesman said some US officials had “spoken irresponsibly to misrepresent China’s normal and legitimate space efforts”.

“China always advocates for the peaceful use of space, opposes armaments and arms race in space, and is actively working to build a community with a shared future for humanity in the space domain,” the statement said.



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