How will the Chinese use the resources of the Solar System

Chinese scientist Wang Wei presented a draft roadmap for using the resources of the Solar System until 2100. It contains projects for the extraction of water ice at the south pole of the Moon and the creation of transport nodes at Lagrange points.

China dreams of the resources of the Solar System. Source:

China will extract resources beyond the Earth

China has developed a roadmap for the use of Solar System resources. So far, this is not an official document at all, but only a project presented by the scientist Wang Wei from the local Academy of Sciences. The roadmap is designed for the period up to 2100. It is called “Tiangong Kaiwu”, which refers to the classic scientific work of the Ming Dynasty “The Exploitation of the Works of Nature”.

The roadmap contains plans for the development of strategic resources, the use of space ice as fuel, the creation of transport and supply nodes and the entire infrastructure associated with it. The program is divided into stages to be completed in 2035, 2050, 2075 and 2100.

Everything should start with the extraction of ice at the South Pole of the Moon. Then it will be decomposed into hydrogen and oxygen and used for flights to other planets. Later in the process of their development, intermediate hubs will be created at Lagrange points: L1 of the Earth-Moon system, L1 and L2 of the Sun-Earth system, and the Sun-Jupiter L1. 

In the future, the system should grow to an even larger scale and will contain mining infrastructure, gas stations and raw materials storages. To implement it, we will have to develop a number of breakthrough technologies and develop cheap technology for returning resources to Earth.

China’s plans for space

Wang Wei presented everything described at the meeting of the Chinese Society of Astronautics, which took place on August 19. This is not an official document, but it demonstrates what sentiments are circulating among scientists in China.

So far, no one has even tried to reconcile everything written with the available finances, technologies, economic prospects and legal subtleties, such as the Outer Space Treaty. However, this does not mean that China will not try to implement something similar.

Earlier this year, Yang Mengfei from the Chinese Academy of Space Research has already called for taking advantage of the unique opportunities for using the Moon that the present moment of history provides. And before that, there were calls from another representative of this organization to create an exclusive economic zone between the Earth and the Moon.

China’s Real Plans

In addition to Wang Wei’s report, China’s much closer and more realistic plans were also voiced at the conference: planning human space flights, the future direction of development and use of lunar resources, thoughts on the strategy for the development of space science, and results related to experiments on space stations and construction on the surface of the Moon.

In 2025, China plans to launch the Tianwen-2 mission, which should bring samples of material from the asteroid. And in 2026, Chang’e-7 will land at the South Pole of the Moon. It will consist of an orbital probe, a rover and a small aircraft that will search for water ice there.

According to

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