China aims to have astronauts on moon by 2030
China is working on an ambitious goal of sending astronauts to the Moon before the end of this decade, as per a statement.
The space race to Moon has been getting intense. NASA has already planned a crewed mission to Moon, Artemis 3, for 2023. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) also has its Chandrayaan-3 mission planned for July 12. And now, China has announced its ambitious plans of sending astronauts to the Moon before 2030 and expand the country's orbiting space station as well.
“We have a complete near-Earth human space station and human round-trip transportation system," complemented by a process for selecting, training and supporting new astronauts. A schedule of two crewed missions a year is "sufficient for carrying out our objectives,” Deputy Director of the Chinese Manned Space Agency Lin Xiqiang told reporters at the rare briefing by the military-run program.
China gears up to send astronauts to the Moon
China's ambitions are bold considering the country has sent astronauts to space as far as its Tiangong space station. Further, China did not even land its first rover on Moon before 2013. Its Chang'e 5, which was launched on 23 November 2020, was the last lunar mission conducted by China with the aim to bring back lunar samples.
The move by China is also being seen as a response to the USA's reinvigorated effort to go back to Moon and explore its south pole which is believed to contain frozen water. Interestingly, both USA and China are considering plans for permanent crewed bases on the Moon.
China had also sought foreign collaboration in the past to build its bases on the Moon. On Monday, the technology director of the Chinese crewed space flight agency, Li Yingliang, said China hoped for more international collaboration, including with the USA.
“Our country's consistent stance is that as long as the goal is to utilize space for peaceful purposes, we are willing to cooperate and communicate with any country or aerospace organization," Li said.