Chinese astronauts are busy learning how to destroy other nations’ satellites, agency chief Bill Nelson says
China could consider a “to resumefrom the Moon as part of its military space program, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told the Bild newspaper.
In an interview published on Saturday, Nelson claimed that the United States was now engaged in a new space race, this time with China. He pointed out that in 2035, Beijing could finish building its own lunar station and start experiments a year later.
Nelson, 79, said we should be very concerned about China’s landing on the moon and said it now belongs to the People’s Republic and everyone should stay away.
To claim that the Chinese space program is a “militaryspace program, Nelson explained that the competition for the moon’s south pole is particularly intense: the potential water deposits there could be used in the future for the production of rocket fuel.
Asked by Bild what military goals China might pursue in space, Nelson said Chinese astronauts were busy learning how to destroy other countries’ satellites.
Despite Beijing’s assurances that its ambitious space program has purely peaceful goals, Nelson has long been a harsh critic of China’s space policy.
In April, it accused Chinese officials of refusing to work with the United States on its operations and withholding important data. Earlier, however, he acknowledged that NASA abides by a 2011 law that prohibits the agency from engaging in direct collaboration with the Chinese government or any China-affiliated organization without the explicit approval of Congress and officials. federal law enforcement authorities. Chinese officials pointed to this ban, called the Wolf Amendment, as “unfortunateand an obstacle to direct cooperation with NASA.
The West’s recent sanctions on Moscow over its military offensive in Ukraine have prompted Russia to seek even deeper cooperation with China in space. At the end of February, just two days after the launch of Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, the head of the Russian space agency Dmitry Rogozin announced that Roscosmos would stop working on joint space projects with Europe and the United States and would begin negotiations with China on the coordination and mutual technical support of all deep space missions.
Meanwhile, in January this year, NASA’s Office of Inspector General warned that the size of the agency’s astronaut corps may be too small to meet its future needs. The corps, which had 44 astronauts, was named “one of the smallest astronaut frames of the last 20 years,and that’s when NASA prepares for its Artemis lunar exploration missions.