NASA irked by China’s race for the moon

NASA top administrator Bill Nelson has said that a Chinese advance might lead to the Asian nation claiming a large chunk of the moon.

The United States and China have been at loggerheads for long, and the bone of contention, of late, relates to space. The two nations had been on a race to the moon, with the past few years witnessing some serious activity on that domain.

A key NASA administrator has now come up with information that looks like adding to the rivalry. Bill Nelson, NASA’s top administrator, has been quoted by a report as saying that a Chinese advance might even lead to the Asian nation claiming a large chunk of the moon.

Moon missions aplenty

The space race between the two nations is not a secret.  Nelson feels that the United States needs to watch out more so as to prevent Chinese advances on the moon under the ploy of scientific research. According to him, China seems to be telling the US and the world that moon is Chinese territory.

Reminding China’s aggression in the South China Sea, Nelson said that the Chinese government has asserted sovereignty over territory belonging to other countries. Similar is the case with the space programme that China is pursuing with utmost aggression.

The Asian nation had recently launched a new space station. Besides, it is lining up a project to send Chinese astronauts to the moon in time the current decade draws to a close.  China has also drawn up plans to unveil more ambitious projects in the near future.

China lines up major lunar projects

These include projects aimed at space infrastructure development and also the setting up of a space governance system.

NASA isn’t too far behind. The US Space administration is in the works with its Artemis series of lunar missions. It was only recently that NASA’s Orion spacecraft safely fell to the Pacific, ending the Artemis 1 mission. Artemis 1 had lasted more than 25 days and was assigned to get people back to the moon in a few years.

The Chinese aggressive moves with regard to lunar explorations are indeed giving sleepless nights to the US space administration. Whether the NASA’s doubts are unfounded is something only time will tell.

When the world nations are looking to pocket a piece of space, it is only natural that China too is thinking on the same lines. But the aggression that rides the Chinese plans are not easily digested by the United States, probably.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »

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