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Space & Astronomy

China sparks new space race with plans to land humans on the Moon

By T.K. Randall
May 29, 2023 · Comment icon 6 comments

China's Tiangong space station. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Shujianyang
China has announced that it will be attempting to land humans on the Moon before the end of the decade.
In a move that is sure to stir up memories of the 20th-Century rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union, China has revealed plans to land an astronaut on the lunar surface by 2030, meaning that it will now be directly competing with NASA's Artemis program.

During a press briefing, Deputy Director of the Chinese Manned Space Agency Lin Xiqiang stated that China would be preparing for "a short stay on the lunar surface and human-robotic joint exploration."

"We have a complete near-Earth human space station and human round-trip transportation system," he said, noting that a fourth module for the Tiangong space station would also be launched "at an appropriate time to advance support for scientific experiments and provide the crew with improved working and living conditions."

While the exact timetable of China's moon endeavors in unknown, NASA is currently aiming to land the first humans on the Moon (since the Apollo program) by 2025, though this may yet be delayed.
If they take too long and China progresses quickly, there's a remote possibility that Chinese astronauts could land on the lunar surface before NASA does.

Even so, China seems to be keen to collaborate with the US where possible.

"Our country's consistent stance is that as long as the goal is to utilize space for peaceful purposes, we are willing to cooperate and communicate with any country or aerospace organization," said Li Yingliang, technology director of the Chinese crewed space flight agency.

"Personally, I regret that the U.S. Congress has relevant motions banning cooperation in aerospace between the U.S. and China. I very much regret that personally."

Source: | Comments (6)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Alchopwn 11 months ago
Everyone should take what China says with a Dead Sea's worth of salt.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Abramelin 11 months ago
What I wonder about it is this: the USAns landed on the Moon many decades ago. Why does it seem near impossible to land on the Moon again? Did they forget how to do it, or what? Is it money? Politics? What??  
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 11 months ago
It doesn't. Just because no one has chosen to do it for a while doesn't mean that it seems near impossible. No one has chosen to make a supersonic airliner since Concorde, it doesn't mean that they couldn't do it if they chose to do so. The USA has now chosen to return. The Orion spacecraft has made two successful test flights. The Space Launch System rocket has made a successful test flight. Within 18 months a US/Canadian crew will have returned to the vicinity of the moon. Just over a year after that (if SpaceX have got Starship ready by then) a US crew will be walking on the moon one again.... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by Jon the frog 11 months ago
Way better than weapon race...
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 11 months ago
Very true.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Abramelin 11 months ago
Why you think this isn't related to weapon race?

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