China: November 2020 Archives

Lucas Warns of Risk Posed by Chinese Launch to the Moon, Rep. Lucas

"The launch of Chang'e-5 is a significant step by China towards their goal of establishing a long-term presence on the Moon. The nation that leads in space will dictate the rules of the road for future technological development and exploration, and the influence of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in the CCP's space program makes China a particularly irresponsible and dangerous candidate. Advancements by the CCP also jeopardize American international competitiveness in science and technology. We can no longer take America's leadership in space for granted and must continue supporting the men and women of the American space program aspiring to launch crewed missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond."

Keith's note: And meanwhile back in the U.S. we have the Space Force whose leadership and fanboys have openly talked about sending soldiers into space and to the Moon. They stage military ceremonies and events on the civilian ISS. That certainly doesn't help to calm things down. As for China becoming more competitive with the U.S. in human and robotic space exploration, OK, they are. If we just got off our collective ass here in the U.S. and devoted the resources needed to deliberately stay ahead of the crowd then everyone else would be in our departure screens as we moved outward into the solar system. Unless, that is, we decide that thoughtful cooperation is better than blunt competition for the sake of competition.

This sort of paranoid rhetoric surfaced back in the 1990s when the notion of bringing the Russians into the space station program first surfaced. Everything the Russians did was evil. They could not be trusted. etc. Two decades later and the ISS is a stellar example of how nations can work together in a cooperative fashion in space. Indeed, the U.S. and Russia get along vastly better in space than they do on Earth. There is a powerful lesson there. If only we'd stop to understand it.

Keith's note: China has launched its Change'e-5 mission to return samples from the Moon. The launch aboard a Long March 5 rocket went off as planned and the spacecraft is now on its way out of Earth orbit and heading toward the Moon. Change'e-5 will land on 27 November, drill 2 meters into the lunar surface, and collect 2 kg of samples for return to Earth. The landing site is a volcanic feature in the Ocean of Storms. As such these samples could teach us how long the Moon was active after its formation, what its magnetic field was like, and what the interior may be like today. The samples are due to be returned to Earth on 16-17 December. Many nations are participating in the scientific analysis of the samples including U.S. researchers.

I am scheduled to be on Deutsche Welle TV at 4:00 and 6:00 pm and on CGTN at 8:30 Pm today to talk about this mission.



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This page is an archive of entries in the China category from November 2020.

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