NASA Chief Issues Warning About China Banning US Astronauts From Landing on the Moon
There is a new space race happening more than five decades after the United States beat Russia to become the first nation to ever put on a human on the moon. This time, the contenders are the U.S. and China. And if China wins, it could cause serious trouble for the rest of the world, according to NASA chief Bill Nelon.
During an interview with Politico, Nelson and several other experts expressed concern over China’s attempt to land on the moon before NASA’s expected 2025 touchdown. They believe that the country could stake a claim on areas that are rich in minerals and other resources and block other countries from making a lunar journey.
“There is potentially mischief China can do on the moon,” warned Terry Virts, the former commander of the International Space Station. “If they set up infrastructure there they could potentially deny communications, for example. Having them there doesn’t make things easier. There is real concern about Chinese meddling.”
The chief and the others from NASA worry that China is attempting to reach the moon “under the guise of scientific research.” But nations should worry that their work is actually a power tactic.
NASA Chief Reminds Public that China Pulled a Similar Move in the South China Sea
If they are correct, it wouldn’t be the first time that China did something similar. As Nelon mentioned, in 2014, the country took over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea and has been building military bases and weaponry on the land ever since.
To further the concerns, officials believe that the China National Space Administration is making progress too quickly, and there is a real chance that it could beat NASA’s optimistic goals set in the current Artemis project. And because Congress did not give the administration its full requested funding in its most recent budget plan, they’re worried that NASA won’t be able to make quick gains if necessary.
And they’re not the only people speaking out about the issue. Space Force Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno said last month that “it’s entirely possible” that China “could catch up and surpass us.”