China Set to Join Space Race?

December 23, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

China might soon join the space race, experts say, after it became the third nation to land a rover on the moon.

And of course, China’s over performing technology and the United States of America’s confusion regarding the “space race” could all be a good factor for the former.

So the spacecraft Chang’e 3 and rover Yutu is still on the lunar surface and is exploring, but experts are of the opinion that the program is indeed developing fast.

Paul Spudis, a scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, says that though the talk isn’t about militarizing or occupying the moon, things like these could certainly reflect in diplomatic relations between these countries.


Spudis is equally concerned about the US’s absence in this domain, along with the fact that a country that doesn’t advocate for a free market might restrict and control how other nations and private businesses operate in space. He says though there is no need to panic, this should be given a serious thought.

Meawhile, John Logsdon, former director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, is of the opinion that if China is to play with the big powers in the world, they have to do the same in space too.

But the fact that China has launched military satellites has certainly alarmed the US officials. But Logsdon thinks that China’s progress is indeed impressive, but he is more keen on the Mars mission. 

Pascal Lee, a planetary scientist at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute, says America’s program is any day superior. But he feels America should renew its interest in space programs as China’s progress has been remarkably flawless.

Also, taking into consideration that Chang’e 3 is big enough to hold more than a rover it means they can possibly place robots with it. Or maybe, who knows, even humans!

Lee says that these events seek our attention. He says that the US’s interest will spring back to life once they see China’s flag on moon.  Well,  NASA! Ain’t you hearing?

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