Former astronaut and NASA administrator Bill Nelson is concerned about the fact that China may reach the Moon before the Space Agency. Nelson believes that China is not just trying to land there, but will claim part of the surface as its territory. That is why NASA will make every effort to land its astronauts on the Moon before China.
“We’re in a space race. So we’d better keep an eye on China so they don’t go to the moon under the guise of scientific research,” Nelson said in an explosive new interview with Politico.
Military base or Bluff
If all goes according to plan, NASA will be able to land its first astronauts on the surface of the Moon for the first time in more than half a century in 2025 as part of the Artemis III mission. China’s space ambitions are not fiction: last year, the Celestial Empire completed its Tiangong space station, and also blew up a wheeled rover on the Moon. This rapid progress clearly frightened American officials. But in fact, there is little evidence yet that the country is really planning to capture lunar territory.
In addition, maintaining a permanent presence on the Moon is not only astronomically expensive. It is also unclear whether the resources found will be valuable enough to provide anything other than political bragging rights. However, Nelson’s fears are not entirely unfounded. China is indeed investing unprecedented resources in landing astronauts on the Moon and even Mars.
“It’s entirely possible they could catch up and surpass us, absolutely. The progress they have made has been amazing —extremely fast,” Space Force General Nina Armagno told Reuters.
The US Department of Defense believes that the capture of the territory of the Moon can have serious consequences if a space military outpost is formed on its surface. “If they set up infrastructure there they could potentially deny communications, for example,” retired Air Force colonel and former commander of the International Space Station Terry Virts told Politico.
Outer space is not a wrestling ground
But not everyone agrees that China has bad intentions once it reaches the surface of the Moon. In response to the comments, a representative of the Chinese Embassy in Washington told Politico that his country strongly rejects such remarks and that their comments were said irresponsibly to distort China’s normal and legitimate space exploration efforts.
“Outer space is not a wrestling ground. The exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes is a common cause of humanity and should benefit everyone,” the speaker added.
Previously, similar events were reproduced in the series “For All Mankind“.
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