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Monday, April 15, 2024

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China Could Put Its Hands On Resource-Rich Areas Of Moon, Claims NASA

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China is in tough competition with the United States to dominate strategic locations on the Moon which are resource-rich and are Earth’s only planetary mass, said NASA administrator Bill Nelson.

“It is a fact: we’re in a space race,” Nelson’s comments came during an interview he gave to Politico, a German-owned political newspaper company based in the US, on Sunday.

“And it is true that we better watch out that they [China] don’t get to a place on the moon under the guise of scientific research. And it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they say, ‘Keep out, we’re here, this is our territory,’” he warned.

The problem is that “there are only so many places on the south pole of the moon that are adequate for what we think, at this point, for harvesting water and so forth,” Nelson added.

To prove his point about China’s activities back at home, on Earth, he claimed, “If you doubt that, look at what they did with the Spratly Islands”, the region is a South China Sea archipelago that is disputed by other nations but it is a military base for China, Nelson said.

In 2019, China became the first country to have made a soft landing on the other side of the Moon as part of its Chang’e 4 robotic mission. The mission’s success enabled the Asian giant to deliver lunar samples back to Earth. The country also intends to land a man on the moon before 2030 and, at a later time, to establish a scientific research station there.

In the recent past, China’s space agency, China National Space Administration (CNSA), has successfully sent an orbiter and a rover to Mars and launched its national space station into Earth orbit.

“China within the last decade has had enormous success and advances,” Nelson acknowledged in its space program. However, he tried to instill confidence in NASA by saying that it is capable of winning the race again and fulfilling its set goal of sending a crewed mission to the Moon in 2025.

Beijing has often refuted US claims that its space program is driven by a sinister intent. Zhao Lijian, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, stated that “outer space is not a wrestling arena, but an essential field for win-win cooperation,” in August. Zhao stated that space exploration is “humanity’s collective pursuit and should benefit everybody,” and that China was dedicated to both international collaboration and the peaceful use of space.

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