Credit: NASA/Apollo 11 photo


China’s stepping stone space agenda is likely to include a piloted Moon mission to be launched by the mid-2030s.

That finding is presented in a new report — China’s Pursuit of Space Power Status and Implications for the United States – has been issued by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

This paper is the product of professional research performed by staff of the Commission, and was prepared at the request of the Commission to support its deliberations.

Source: Defense Intelligence Agency, Challenges to Security in Space, February 11, 2019

Legitimacy and international prestige

A set of executive summary findings:

  • China seeks to become a peer in technology and status of the United States in space. Although China still lags behind the United States in some areas, given the fact that in at least one key area it is likely to accomplish in 20 years what took the United States 40 years to complete, it will likely achieve other important milestones more quickly than the United States did in the past.
  • China’s successful deployment of a lander to the Moon’s farside, the first in history, clearly demonstrates Beijing’s ability and desire to achieve increasingly sophisticated milestones in space. It is likely a Chinese crewed lunar mission will launch by the mid-2030s.
  • China’s deliberate and comprehensive approach to its space program, backed by high levels of funding and political support, has allowed it to attain domestic legitimacy and international prestige. China will probably launch, assemble, and operate a long-term space station before 2025 and has invited international partners to participate in its use.

Credit: CMSA











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