Chinese astronauts are busy learning how to destroy other nations’ satellites, agency chief Bill Nelson claimed
China might be contemplating a “takeover” of the Moon as part of its military space program, NASA’s administrator Bill Nelson has told newspaper Bild.
Nelson said that the United States has now entered a new space race with China in an interview. In 2035, he said that Beijing could have its Moon station completed and be able to begin experimentation a year later.
79-year-old Nelson claimed that we must be very concerned about China landing on the Moon and saying that it now belongs to the Peoples’ Republic and everyone else should stay out.
Claiming that China’s space program is a “Military” space program, Nelson explained that the competition for the south pole of the moon is especially intense: potential water deposits there could be used in the future for rocket-fuel production.
When asked by Bild what military purposes could China be pursuing in space, Nelson claimed that Chinese astronauts are busy learning how to destroy other countries’ satellites.
Despite Beijing’s assurances that its ambitious space program has purely peaceful purposes, Nelson has long been a tough critic of China’s policy in space.
He accused Chinese officials in April of not cooperating with US operations and hiding important data. However, he had previously acknowledged that NASA follows a 2011 law which prohibits it from collaborating with any China-affiliated organisations or the Chinese government without prior approval by Congress. Chinese officials have pointed to that ban, called the Wolf Amendment, as “unfortunate” and an impediment to direct cooperation with NASA.
Russia and China have been cooperating in deep space cooperation since the West placed sanctions on Moscow in response to its recent military intervention in Ukraine. In the end of February, just two days after the launch of Moscow’s ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, the head of the Russian space agency Dmitry Rogozin announced that Roscosmos would cease work on joint space projects with Europe and the United States and would start negotiations with China on coordination and mutual technical support of all deep-space missions.
Meanwhile, in January this year, NASA’s Office of Inspector General warned that the size of the agency’s astronaut corps might be too small to meet its future needs. This corps had 44 members. “one of the smallest cadres of astronauts in the past 20 years,” and that’s while NASA is preparing for its Artemis moon exploration missions.