October 4, 2023

NASA chief warns against China's space program

NASA chief warns against China’s space program

BERLIN – NASA chief Bill Nelson has warned against China’s space program. “We should be very concerned that China will land on the moon and say, ‘This is ours now and you are going to stay out’,” he told Bild, adding, “The Chinese space program is a military space program.”

Unlike the American “Artemis” program, the Chinese do not want to share the results of their research and use of the Moon together. “There is a new race into space – this time with China.”

China is sending its own astronauts to the moon. The People’s Republic has landed on the surface of the moon several times using research robots, and has also succeeded in returning moon rocks to Earth. In the 1930s, according to Chinese state media reports, a permanent station on the Moon will be built in a further step. So the research station could be set up and operated jointly with Russia.

Asked what military purposes China might have in space, Nelson told the newspaper: “Well, what do you think is going on at the Chinese space station? There they learn how to destroy other people’s moons.” In addition, Nelson lamented the theft of Chinese technology: “China is good. But China is also good because it steals other people’s ideas and technologies.”

Through the “Artemis” program, the US space agency wants to return American astronauts, including for the first time a woman and a non-white person, to the Moon – as soon as 2025, outposts have appeared in its orbit. The last time an American astronaut walked on the moon was nearly 50 years ago. Between 1969 and 1972, the United States was the only country that brought a total of 12 astronauts to the Moon on the “Apollo” missions.

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Beijing wants to play a league with the United States in space. Therefore, the construction of the first private space station, “Tianjung” (Sky Palace) is being pushed quickly. The People’s Republic of China has invested billions in its space program and has already had some successes. China was the first country to land a spacecraft and exploration vehicle on the dark side of the moon.