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China Announces It Is in a Space Race With the United States

Credit: YouTube/China News Service

China National Space Administration (CNSA) has issued a new document, “Strategic Concept of Resource Utilization Development Route of the International Lunar Research Station,” authored by a team led by Pei Zhaoyu, the deputy director of CNSA’s Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Centre, and published in the Chinese Journal of Astronautics in April. The document says, for the first time, that China is in competition with the United States in its lunar program. This, of course, has long been the attitude of the United States in developing its own Artemis program, which was designed to create a US-controlled program that included countries friendly to the U.S. Cooperation with China in any manned lunar program was forbidden by the notorious Wolf Amendment, excluding them from this program. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson has clearly indicated, in numerous statements, that the program was aimed at getting back to the Moon before China, and establishing the “rules of the road” on the Moon. In statements on Capitol Hill, Nelson was always quite clear, that the Artemis program was designed to win the “competition with China.”

China has now accepted that challenge. “It is foreseeable that in the next 20 to 30 years, China’s International Lunar Research Station and the US Artemis Program will compete in terms of technology and operational efficiency on the same historical stage and at the same geographical location (the south pole of the moon),” the paper said. “The utilization of lunar resources will become the focus of the competition,” it noted. “And countries such as the United States do not have a distinct edge in this.”

“The utilization of lunar resources is a scientific challenge, a technological drive and an economic reward. Efficiency and benefit will be the core evaluation benchmarks, guiding the construction, operation and sustainable development,” Pei’s team wrote.