China made a bold mission to land on the other side of the moon at a historic moment in space exploration this week. The touch of Chang & # 39; e 4 was hailed worldwide as a great technical feat and represented the ancestry of the Chinese state. And the impressive scientific mission is just the beginning of a space ambition program that plans to challenge the hegemony of a stalled NASA, an expert has revealed exclusively to Express.co.uk.
Dr. Malcolm Davis, Senior Strategy and Defense Capability Analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, believes there are broad implications for the Chang'e China lunar mission 4.
China wants to personally develop the kind of military space capabilities.
Dr. Malcolm Davis
This is due to the growing strategic military importance of the Moon and the growing technological capacity of the communist state.
Dr. Davis said: "China is a rising superpower and they are clearly challenging the United States in space leadership.
"The Chinese clearly have an ambitious space program that will include more missions to the Moon, which will culminate in human lunar missions with a lunar base.
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Chang & e 4 Moon landing: China's mission on the other side of the Moon marks an astro-political era (Image: Getty / PA)
China Chang & e 4 Moon landing: the mission is a great technical feat (Image: PA)
"And they will have a space station until 2022 that will potentially supplant the International Space Station (ISS), if funds are exhausted for that."
The strategy badyst believes that there are three reasons for China's extraterrestrial ambitions, military concerns, national honor and resource hunger.
"China wants to personally develop the kind of military space capabilities to allow the war of infomation, giving them the ability to fight against the kind of wars with information systems that you saw that the United States used in the 1991 Gulf War and Iraq.
"This is essential for them to be an effective power, and satellites and space capabilities are vital to that.
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"Paraphrasing General Montgomery" If we lose control of space, we lose the war and lose it quickly ".
"The second aspect of the military side of things is to deny space to their opponents, through the development of counter-space capabilities and anti-satellite weapons."
National prestige also participates in China's long-term plans to control space.
"China will argue that its time has come, geopolitically, it is coming back as the Middle Kingdom, the center of power on the planet.
"It was the intention of Xi Jinping, when he observes his policies to incite the Chinese perspectives on international governance and development through the Belt and Road initiative, and they even have a spatial concept of the Silk Road so that the states Align with China through systems like Baidu.
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China Chang & 4 Moon landing: there are broad implications for the lunar mission (Image: PA)
Chang Mission # 4: There are several reasons for China's extraterrestrial ambitions (Image: PA)
"So the Chinese have an aspect of national prestige here and space is a symbolic aspect of Chinese ancestry."
China, with a population of over one billion and a growing middle clbad, is among a growing number of countries aware of the almost infinite amount of resources available in outer space.
Dr. Davis said: "Everyone understands that the Moon is full of Helium-3, a vital place for nuclear fusion and that the Moon is also a natural filling station for water, which can be transformed into a nuclear propellant. .
"So, if you want an expanding and self-sufficient civilization that is profitable, the worst thing you can do is drag it through the gravity of the Earth, you have to get close to space, you control the asteroids of the Moon and the Earth.
"There are valuable resources on the Moon and near-Earth asteroids, including titanium and platinum, which will generate wealth.
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"So, the three areas in which China is very focused on space and understands the benefits of being an actor that takes space."
The amazing success of China's nascent space program appears in stark contrast to the apparent stagnation of NASA.
Dr. Davis said: "There is a lot of desperation for a lack or direction and strategy in NASA.
"Part of the fault lies with the US government. UU Of the day, it constantly changes the focus from Mars to the Moon and vice versa, combined with the lack of funds.
"NASA has the responsibility to lead and develop a coherent policy and is simply not doing it.
Change 4: The Moon is strategically important and rich in resources (Image: PA)
Space Race: Buzz Aldrin was among those who landed on the Moon in 1969 (Image: Getty)
"So, for example, we have NASA spending a lot of money on its Space Launch System (SLS), a new vehicle but an old concept, instead of adopting new technologies.
"Essentially, they are recreating the Apollo missions, but they lack the will to take the next step and put the astronauts on the lunar surface with the access door to space, a concept that really has no purpose.
"So, if China advances rapidly in terms of its lunar missions, such as Chang & e and its space station, and finally places the Taikonauts on the lunar surface, this will create the incentive for NASA to come together and not Get together.
"There is a clear possibility that the next humans on the Moon may be commercial or Chinese astronauts and I'm not sure how NASA could handle that." "
The badyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute believes that commercial agents, such as Elon Musk's SpaceX program and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, will play an increasingly broad role in space exploration.
"We have just started in this competitive environment and I hope that this competition will begin to improve in the next decade, both in the near Earth environment of LEO (low Earth orbit) to GEO (geostationary orbit) and around the moon.
"Competition generates innovation and progress and progress will slow down without it.
"We have not really seen much progress since the days of Apollo; We have had the shuttle and the ISS and, obviously, a great science is being done with unmanned support, but in terms of human missions we have not really seen much.
"We have potential on the cusp of a new golden age of space exploration that will be driven primarily by commercial actors, but also by a wider humber of states.
"The key with all these countries is to encourage the commercial sector because that's where the advances and rapid advances are obtained, and it starts to do things in a radically different way, so it does not get this purpose financed by the taxpayer. from end to end that is slow, risky and cautious to the point of having NASA revise the same land it had in the 1960s. "