July 14, 2024

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China has just taken a step forward in the race to conquer the moon

China has just taken a step forward in the race to conquer the moon

A new race to conquer space is underway, this time between the United States and China. Today, Tuesday, China took a big step forward.

A Chinese spacecraft has landed on the grasslands in China’s Inner Mongolia region, carrying a cargo on board The first rock samples from Far side (often called the dark side). moon. This is the first time such a thing has been achieved.

This success is a major scientific achievement in itself, and reinforces China’s plan to transport astronauts to the moon by 2030 and build a lunar base there by 2035.

The goal of permanent bases on the moon

This dynamic worries US officials and lawmakers, who have their own ambitions to build bases on the moon.

Unlike the original space race between the Americans and the Soviets, the goal of the United States and China is not just a short trip to the moon.

It aims to build permanent bases for humans in its most strategic location, the South Pole of the Moon. As the two countries prepare to deploy stations there one day, it seems likely that tensions in space will mirror those on Earth.

Mutual suspicion

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, some US officials fear that China is planning to seize the territory. Chinese officials suspect the same as the Americans and are working with Russia and other friendly countries on their own Antarctic station.

The outlines of the lunar Iron Curtain, in which competing superpowers and their allies ride to exploit the strategic importance of the Moon, are already emerging.

The Wall Street Journal notes that the successful completion of the Chang’e 6 mission on Tuesday shows, by one measure, that China has moved forward for now. Its lunar program has now landed on the Moon four times since 2013.

Meanwhile, after a decades-long hiatus, two American companies this year launched missions to the lunar surface under contracts with NASA. One mission was partially successful while the second failed due to a technical issue. At least two other special missions, funded by NASA, are scheduled to attempt to reach the moon this year.

4 – 0.5 in favor of China

In a way, the lunar landing scoreboard is “4 to 0.5” in China’s favor, Simone Dell’Agnello, an Italian researcher who worked on Chang’e 6, tells the Wall Street Journal. “The difference is that China has missions to achieve lunar landings.” “. Confirms.

All of this is putting pressure on the world’s most famous space agency, NASA. Through the Artemis Exploration Program, NASA plans to conduct multiple lunar landings in the coming years, develop a resupply station in lunar orbit, and eventually establish permanent camps on the lunar surface.