The United States wants to send astronauts to the moon again, but they are not the only ones.
At BILD, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, 79, warned: “There’s a new race into space — this time with China.”
NASA’s first astronauts are set to travel to the Moon in 2025 – the first time a woman.
But Beijing’s plans go further: China plans its own lunar base – with Russia!
► It should be completed in 2035. If successful, astronauts – as astronauts from China are called – could conduct experiments on the moon from 2036.
NASA chief Nelson is uncomfortable with this: “We have to be very concerned about China landing on the moon and saying, ‘It’s ours now and you’re going to stay out’.”
The Moon’s south pole in particular is hotly disputed: it is suspected of having water deposits that could be used in the future to produce rocket fuel.
Meaning: Whoever controls the south side of the moon has an important base in space. And maybe the force.
In any case, Bill Nelson is sure: “The Chinese space program is a military space program.” He himself was an astronaut in space before he entered politics.
As a soft-toned politician, Nelson is pretty straightforward. He criticizes the theft of technology that made it possible for China to participate in the space race: “China is good. But China is also good because it steals ideas and technology from others.”
What military purposes can China pursue in space?
Nelson infuriated Bild’s question: “Well, what do you think is going on at the Chinese space station? There they learn how to destroy other people’s satellites.”
In fact, China has been looking for technologies for years to “capture” satellites with robotic arms or nets and cause them to crash: they are supposed to clean up their space debris, but in fact satellites from foreign countries can also be attacked in this way.
This is what NASA is planning on the moon
With the Artemis program, NASA plans to return to the Moon in close cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA).
► This summer, the first Orion space capsule will fly toward and orbit the moon. Orion, half of which is built in Germany, will be unmanned.
► NASA astronauts will be present in the second orbit of the moon in 2023.
The third flight in 2025 should bring two people to the moon: a woman and a black astronaut.
Other plans: construction of a portal station in the orbit of the Moon, a village, a launch pad to Mars.