CHINA has revealed its intention to dominate the aerospace industry, leaving NASA officials worried.
From the Moon to Mars, China has expressed its ambitions for space exploration.
One of these plans includes sending a crewed mission to the Moon and building a lunar base.
Part of this plan is also to develop a detection and destruction system for asteroids heading towards Earth,
Specifically, China hopes to use the Moon as a “shield” as part of its action plan to protect Earth from asteroid impacts, according to AS.
That would not sit well with Nasa officials, who have expressed fears that China has ulterior motives.
“We have to be very worried that China is going to land on the moon and say, now it’s up to us and you stay out,” NASA director Bill Nelson said earlier this month.
Moreover, China plans to work hand in hand with Russia to jointly build its own lunar base by 2035.
Tensions between NASA and Russia’s Roscosmos have also escalated after Russia recently exited the International Space Station (ISS).
Yuri Borisov, the new head of Roscosmos said at a meeting: “The decision to leave the station after 2024 has been made.”
Other Chinese Missions
Other notable space missions for China include exploring Jupiter and returning samples from Mars.
Bringing back samples from Mars – a feat NASA and ESA hope to achieve – seems to be one of the most important goals for China.
The plan was recently outlined by Wu Weiren, a senior scientist with China’s National Space Administration.
According to Weiren, China would land a capsule on the Red Planet which would collect the samples.
The capsule would be equipped with an ascent vehicle (or small rocket) that would fly the samples to an orbiter.
The orbiter would then return the collection to Earth.
“The spacecraft for a sample return mission to the red planet will be much heavier than the lunar probes because it will carry a greater amount of fuel to fly a very long distance. Therefore, we have to build a powerful rocket carrier to transport the spacecraft,” Weiren said.
China’s leading rocket maker, the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology in Beijing, has hinted that its engineers are building a super-heavy rocket called Long March 9.
According to experts, this rocket would be used for possible crewed missions to the Moon, as well as for other deep space missions in the future.