Europe is not sending its astronauts to China’s space station, at least in the near future, despite having prepared astronauts for potential visits to China’s Tiangong space station, according to European space station’s director general, reported New York-based global news media NTD.
The European Space Agency manages Europe’s space program and it has been training its astronauts with their Chinese counterparts. In 2017, it said the goal was to fly European astronauts on the Chinese space station from 2022.
The current international space station is slated to retire in 2030. It involves five members, the U.S., Russia, Japan, Europe, and Canada, but Russia is going to pull out in 2024 to set up its own space station, NTD reported.
Though China invited a lot of countries to join research activities in its space station, the US did not sign on. According to Beijing, the space station would host scientific projects from seventeen nations, including Switzerland, Poland, Germany, and Italy.
According to a recent Indo-Pacific Center for Strategic Communications (IPCSC) report, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson has warned that China could claim resource-rich regions of the moon as its own as the country intends to gain economic benefits through space exploration.
According to the IPCSC report, China’s efforts to use its space program to transform itself into a military, economic, and technological power will soon reshape the world order. China in 2020, announced its plans to establish an economic zone with an output value of USD ten trillion.
Nelson in an interview with Politico on January 1, said he was concerned that China would build scientific research facilities in a desirable area on the moon and then claim sovereignty over it.
China, last year, built a space station orbiting the Earth and performed several missions around the moon to extract samples. Beijing also plans to build an autonomous lunar research station near the moon’s south pole, which is expected to begin in 2025, IPCSC reported.
China for economic gain and strategic reasons is trying to win the space war. Nina Armagno, Chief of Staff of the US Space Force, on November 27, 2022, told the Australian Strategic Policy Institute that she was concerned that China would catch up and overtake the US and possibly militarise space.
According to Armagno, China is developing military space technologies such as satellite communications and reusable spacecraft, such as China’s Long March 8R, and Long March 9, as well as suborbital and orbital spacecraft. (ANI)