NASA chief says China could claim Moon as its own territory if it overtakes US on lunar surface

NASA chief says China could claim Moon as its own territory if it overtakes US on lunar surface

Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator.Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

  • NASA chief Bill Nelson said China could claim the moon as its own territory.

  • He told Politico that Chinese aggression in the South China Sea indicated what could happen on the moon.

  • Nelson said China has made “tremendous achievements and advances” in its space program lately.

The head of NASA has said that China could claim the moon as its own territory if it overtakes the US in the race to the lunar surface.

In an interview with Politicianreleased Sunday, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said Chinese military expansion in the South China Sea it was an indicator of what might happen on the Moon.

Nelson said: “It’s a fact: we’re in a space race. And it’s true that we better watch that they don’t get to a place on the moon under the guise of scientific research. And it’s not beyond the realm of possibility who say: ‘Don’t get lost, we’re here, this is our territory’.

“If you doubt it, look what they did to the Spratly Islands.”

Recently published aerial photographs show new military installations in the Spratly Islands, a disputed archipelago in the South China Sea.

NASA completed theirs Artemis 1 mission in November, which involved flying an unmanned Orion spacecraft around the moon. The mission preceded Artemis 3, which aims to land astronauts on the lunar surface by 2025.

china has recently completed its new space station, Tiangong, and in November, launched a crew of taikonauts to the station. Beijing plans to launch it three missions to the moon over the next decade as part of its Chang’e lunar program, after it said it had discovered a new lunar mineral that could be used as an energy source.

Nelson told Politico that China has had “tremendous success and progress” in its space program over the past decade.

NASA is working with Elon Musk’s SpaceX on the Artemis 3 mission. Nelson told Politico: “I ask the question every day, ‘How is SpaceX progressing?’ “And all our managers tell me that they are achieving all their milestones.”

NASA did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, made outside normal US business hours.

Read the original article at Business Insider

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