China Targets Human Lunar Landing by 2030: China continues to race towards space exploration, as news emerges that they are targeting to become the second superpower to put men on the moon. The announcement was made by Lin Xiqiang, the deputy director of China’s Manned Space Agency while speaking at the news conference.
The goal of the Lunar Exploration Project, also known as the Chang’e Project, is to explore every inch of the moon using lander-rover combinations and eventually enable short-term stays on the lunar surface for humans.
Exploring the Unchartered Moon Surface
No human has landed on the moon since the United States’ Apollo missions in the 1960s and ’70s. The last human on the moon is Eugene Cernan, who was there in December 1972 for the Apollo 17 mission. During the mission, Cernan expressed his desire to see China become a part of the ambitious space exploration program. Thus, the historic decision made by China to put humans on the moon is seen as an excellent opportunity to explore the unchartered surface of the moon.
Lunar Exploration Projects: A Competition between US and China
The announcement of the Lunar Exploration Project by China comes as the United States’ space agency, NASA, is planning to put a team on the moon by 2024 through its Artemis program, which has already experienced repeated delays. NASA’s administrator, Bill Nelson, has said that the United States should “watch out” for Chinese attempts to dominate the lunar surface and keep Americans out. The comments made by Nelson seem to suggest that the race for moon exploration is fast becoming a new competition between the two superpowers.
Ambitious Space Programs
Both the United States and China plan to build research stations on the moon. Moreover, they both plan on landing people on Mars. China has also landed a lunar probe on the moon’s far side for the first time in its history in 2019, giving them a head start in the new race to the moon. With the space race heating up between China and the United States, governments must balance ambitious space programs and security threats from hostile countries to take humanity beyond the Earth’s boundaries.