GENERICO.ruScienceThe head of NASA said about the US competition with China for a place on the moon

The head of NASA said about the US competition with China for a place on the moon

WASHINGTON, 28 Apr. The United States is competing with China for space on the moon, fearing that Beijing could overtake Washington and claim the South Pole, NASA chief Bill Nelson said on Thursday.
“Here's a photo of the South Pole craters, where are we going and where is China going… so many craters make it dangerous, there are only a few places you can land and like I said I'm worried that China will be there first and declare it his territory and tell us – do not bother, “said the head of NASA at a hearing in the Committee on Science and Technology of the House of Representatives of Congress, showing a picture of the Earth's satellite.
“We fly there as part of an international mission and for scientific and peaceful purposes,” Nelson assured. He recalled that the interest of both powers in this region of the Moon is due to the presence of water there in the form of ice.

Nelson has previously said repeatedly that Washington is in a space race with Beijing and has warned Congress that insufficient funding could be a “disaster” for US leadership in space.

The United States, under the administration of Donald Trump, began implementing the ambitious Artemis lunar return program, which plans to build a near-lunar station and land American astronauts on its surface in 2025-2026. As part of the study of the moon in June this year, the United States plans to send the PRIME-1 probe to the south pole of the moon, which, as Nelson said, will “look for water under its surface.” At the end of last year, NASA carried out a test unmanned flight around the moon, its manned version is planned for the end of next year.
China's Chang'e lunar sounding program actually started in 2007, when the first lunar satellite, Chang'e-1, was launched. In 2019, China launched the next phase of its lunar program – the first ever landing of a device on the far side of the moon. In November 2020, the Chang'e-5 probe visited the Moon and delivered soil samples to Earth, after which China became the third country after the United States and the USSR that was able to carry out such a mission. It is planned that in 2024 the Chang'e-6 probe will be launched to collect samples in the South Pole region. Landing a Chinese crew on the moon, according to Beijing's plans, will be possible by 2030.

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