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

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

The US is locked in a space race with china and the country must “watch” that its rival does not settle down and try to dominate the lunar resources, the top NASA official has warned.

The assessment comes from the nose administrator, Bill Nelson, a former astronaut and senator from Florida, who warned that China could claim to “own” the resource-rich areas of the Moon.

The competition between the United States and China, he added, was intensifying and the next two years could determine which country gains an advantage.

“It’s a fact: we’re in a space race,” Nelson told Politic. “And it is true that we better watch that they do not reach a place on the Moon under the guise of scientific research. And it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they say: ‘There has not been, we are here, this is our territory'”.

Nelson cited Chinese aggression on 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, China’s space program installed a space station in Earth orbit and has mounted several lunar orbit and sample retrieval missions. A third phase of the program, to establish an autonomous lunar research station near the Moon’s south pole, is planned for 2025.

In December, the Chinese government offered his view to manned lunar landing, space transport, infrastructure and space governance. China has also announced aim to land taikonauts to the Moon at the end of this decade.

Students listen to an introduction to the Chang’e 5 lunar sample return spacecraft at the InnoTech Expo in Hong Kong, China, last month. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters

Meanwhile, NASA recently completed the 26-day Artemis I mission to take pictures of the lunar surface. Future missions are designed to establish more activity on the Moon. However, the United States is also focused on Mars.

The US military has also sounded the alarm over China’s militarization of space and related security concerns.

“It’s entirely possible that they could catch up and outmatch us,” said Space Force Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno. said on a visit to Australia. “The progress they’ve made has been impressive, incredibly fast.”

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

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

“China always advocates the peaceful use of outer space, opposes the weaponization and arms race in outer space, and actively works to build a community with a shared future for mankind in the space domain “, adds the statement.

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