Having witnessed a successive period of robust economic growth, and strengthening international power, for approximately 3 decades, China has rapidly advanced in most of the science & technology programs, particularly its sci-fi-like space program. The recent launching of Shenzhou-9 has highlighted the steady preparedness of Chinese government towards their most ambitious dreams: establishing their own manned space station, and setting up permanent settlements on what the Ming-era poet, Li Bai, once dubbed it in a poem as ‘my home’: the Moon, as of 2020.
What worries the United States, however, is not about the might of the program, but it’s more about the hidden agenda the government has arranged behind the real scenario: claiming either the territory they land in, or the entire Moon, instead, and mining the rare earths, to boost its economic growth. If China were to do so, this would indicate other nations may elicit rights to explore, exploit, and claim some bits of the Moon as their ‘inseparable entities’. Two other nations, India and Japan, have based the ‘moon-landing’ notion as their long-term priority, with Japan planning to construct solar power stations slated for 2020.
What happens to NASA? Supposedly equipped with a minimum annual budget of 100 billion US$, the Government only provides 4% of the amount, thanks to the recession hitting US in 2008.
Read it at Foreign Policy.