Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Home Tech News Nasa boss: China could ‘claim the moon as its territory’ and ban...

Nasa boss: China could ‘claim the moon as its territory’ and ban the USA from landing there

Nasa’s Orion captured the Moon as it flew past in December 2022 (Credit: Nasa)

The head of Nasa is worried China may claim the moon as its own territory – and prevent the US from landing there again.

‘It is a fact: we’re in a space race,’ the current Nasa Administrator, Bill Nelson, said in an interview.

‘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,”‘ Nelson added.

Nelson, who was appointed to the top job at Nasa by President Biden in 2021 claimed he and others are increasingly concerned about China’s plans for lunar exploration.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson listens to a question from reporters during a news conference about the status of the NASA moon rocket for the Artemis 1 mission to orbit the Moon at the Kennedy Space Center, Monday, Aug. 29, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Nasa Administrator Bill Nelson was appointed to the job in 2021 (Credits: AP)

The country’s space presence has grown massively over the last few years and in 2019, it became the first country to explore the dark side of the moon with the Chang’e 4 probe.

But according to Nelson, the Communist nation could be planning to corner the market on resource-rich locations on the moon’s surface. It could then try to block out the US and other countries from setting up lunar bases and carrying out other activities there.

‘If you doubt that, look at what they did with the Spratly Islands,’ he said in the interview with Politico.

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5
video

The Spratly Islands are a contested piece of land in the South China Sea. Beijing has claimed ownership of the archipelago and used it as weapons storage facility. It’s rumoured that structures on the islands are large enough to house ballistic missile launchers.

After lying relatively untouched for fifty years, the moon has become a very attractive target again for both nations. It’s believed a base on the moon could function as a jumping-off point for exploration and scientific missions further into the solar system.

The Long March-2F rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-15 spacecraft, is transferred to the launching area at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China November 21, 2022. cnsphoto via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. CHINA OUT.

China’s Long March-2F rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-15 spacecraft, is transferred to the launching area at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China (Credit: Reuters)

Nasa’s Artemis Program aims to return humans to the moon by 2024 and set up a sustained human presence that would allow astronauts to regularly visit the moon. 

The Apollo-era lunar missions saw astronauts live on the moon for only a few days at a time but the Artemis mission aims to be the stepping stone for long-term lunar bases.

‘This time when we go to the moon we’re going to stay. That’s what we’re looking to do,’ Nasa’s former director, Jim Bridenstine, had said of future moon missions previously.

To this end, Nasa has recently awarded a £47,000,000 contract to build habitats and roads on the moon.

THIS PICTURE: This red bird-like symbol is either in reference an eagle, a reference to the Eagle (pictured), the Lunar Module that took Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the Moon's surface, or refers to the Phoenix Mars Lander, which landed on Mars on May 25, 2008 --- See SWNS story SWNAorion --- How's this for an out-of-this-world quiz? NASA has placed puzzles through the interior of their Orion spacecraft. The module, which is currently in space as a test-run for the next moon landing, has so-called Easter eggs dotted throughout the cabin. Seated in the module is Commander Moonikin Campos, a sensor-packed mannequin collecting data to help future Artemis astronauts. But elsewhere are weird symbols, numbers, pictures and even a soft toy.

The Lunar Module that took Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the Moon’s surface (Credit: Nasa)

Ultimately, Nasa hopes to establish a base on the moon and send astronauts to Mars by the late 2030s or early 2040s.

Meanwhile, China’s expansion into space over the last few years has been nothing short of astronomical.

The country has launched orbiters, landers, and rovers that have reached both the moon and Mars. It is also working on its own independent space station – because it has been banned from involvement with the US-led International Space Station. 

JIUQUAN, CHINA - JUNE 05: (L - R) Astronauts Cai Xuzhe, Chen Dong and Liu Yang of the Shenzhou XIV manned space mission attend a see-off ceremony at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on June 5, 2022 in Jiuquan, Gansu Province of China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Chinese astronauts Cai Xuzhe, Chen Dong and Liu Yang attend a see-off ceremony before departing for China’s orbiting space station (Credit: Getty)

‘China within the last decade has had enormous success and advances,’ Nelson said.

‘It is also true that their date for landing on the moon keeps getting closer and closer.’ 


MORE : How to declutter your space to help bring in new energy for the New Year


MORE : Five space exploration missions to look out for in 2023

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Vass Bednar: Why Canada needs a publicly owned cloud

Breadcrumb Trail Links Telecom Innovation Big Tech companies have become our...

Sorrento, B.C. woman wants improved highway safety after truck crashes into house

A woman in British Columbia’s Shuswap is calling for improved safety measures on the Trans-Canada Highway after an out-of-control 18-wheeler truck slid off of...

The best smart lamps of 2023

Searching for a smart lighting solution for your desk, end table, or nightstand? Consider adding a smart lamp to your shopping list. These versatile...

This is how Microsoft will compensate websites Bing and ChatGPT steals information from

Microsoft's industrial-scale theft of hand-written information is about to destroy thousands of small businesses, and I am entirely unsurprised. Today, Microsoft unveiled ChatGPT integration with...