America and China Are ‘in a Space Race’
America’s dominance in space is being threatened by China’s technological progress and expansionist lunar program, nasa administrator Bill Nelson warned during an interview with Politico last weekend.
It is a fact: We’re in a space race. And it is true that we better watch out that they don’t get to a place on the moon under the guise of scientific research.
- After sending three taikonauts (Chinese astronauts) to its newly constructed space station on Nov. 29, 2022, China became the third nation, alongside the United States and Russia, to operate a permanent manned station.
- A senior Chinese lunar program designer and engineer also stated that is “entirely possible” that China could put taikonauts on the moon by 2030. China has not claimed that this is an official goal.
- China partnered with Russia in 2021 to build an International Lunar Research Station to orbit the moon and be a base for lunar operations.
It’s entirely possible [China] could catch up and surpass us. … The progress they’ve made has been stunning.
—Nina Armagno, lieutenant general for United States Space Force
Space vulnerability: For the past few decades, America has led the world in space exploration and has outshone other nations in space-based infrastructure. Its satellite technology alone has given it an upper hand in security measures. However, overdependence on space-based technologies also makes the U.S. particularly vulnerable.
If another nation destroys all of America’s satellites, America cannot retaliate. Smart bombs and gps-guided battlefields help America avoid collateral damage and gives it an edge. But it also creates a unique dependency. Cut any other nation off from space, and it’s a minor inconvenience. But deny America the use of space, and its normal methods of conducting warfare are useless.
—Richard Palmer (“Space: The Final Military Frontier”)
If U.S. ascendancy in space is challenged, U.S. safety on the ground will be threatened as well. China’s space program could put America in such jeopardy.