The head of Nasa has expressed concern over a possible Chinese takeover of the Moon
Nasa’s leader has expressed concern that China would try to establish territorial claims on the Moon if it beats the United States to establishing permanent bases there.
US Space Administrator Bill Nelson warned in 2021 that geopolitical tensions between the US and China on Earth could spread to the Moon, signalling the beginning of a new space competition between the two countries.
“It is a fact, we’re in a space race,” Mr. Nelson told Politico.
And it’s true that we need to be careful they don’t use science as a cover to sneak onto the Moon. It’s not out of the question that they would declare ‘Keep out, we’re here, this is our territory’.
Terry Virts, a former commander of the International Space Station (ISS), shared this fear, blaming “potential mischief” on China.
These remarks were made after the US Department of Defense released a report outlining China’s space programme as it is right now, including the country’s potential to build spacecraft capable of landing on the far side of the Moon.
The 196-page paper anticipated President Xi Jinping’s policies and the possibility of a new space competition when it was released in November.
“Beijing’s goal is to become a broad-based, fully capable space power. Its rapidly growing space program – second only to the United States in the number of operational satellites – is a source of national pride and part of Chairman Xi Jinping’s ‘China Dream’ to establish a powerful and prosperous China,” the report said.
Other advanced space-based capabilities, such satellite inspection and repair, are in development in China. Some of these skills might be used as a weapon as well.
China has always said anyone who question its intentions are wrong.
In response to recent comments made by US officials, the Chinese Embassy in Washington released the following statement: “China always advocates the peaceful use of outer space, opposes the weaponization of and arms race in outer space, and works actively toward building a community with a shared future for mankind in the space domain.”