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China is aiming for the moon but it won’t be alone up there

24 12 5
10.01.2019

SPACE advocates see the 2020s as the beginning of a new ‘golden age’ of space exploration, with greater numbers of nation states and commercial actors exploring the final frontier than ever before.

A key element of this is the growing interest towards a human return to the Moon by US commercial companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin, and national space actors.

China has ambitious lunar plans, and its recent successful landing of the Chang’e 4 probe containing the Yutu 2 rover on the far side of the Moon is a world first. China’s next steps include further unmanned lunar and Mars missions, as well as a crewed space station by 2022, and ultimately, ‘Taikonauts’ on the lunar surface by the 2030s.

SEE ALSO: Space: The new frontier of the US-China rivalry

Chang’e 4 is a great accomplishment for China’s space program that could provide new insights into the unexplored far side.

It’s also generated a lot of debate about China’s ambitions in space, and the ‘astropolitical’ competition which could emerge between a rising China and the United States in the 21st century.

That space is a key operational domain in 21st century for military affairs is not lost on China’s leaders, and China’s space activities have strong military dimensions.

The 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, China. Source: Shutterstock

Ensuring........

© Asian Correspondent