The NASA administrator is confident that Beijing will soon claim rights to the Earth's natural satellite and prevent other countries from exploring it. "It is time for us to begin to worry... By planning to land on the moon, China is like saying, ‘Now it's ours, and you stay away.' However, China immediately condemned these allegations and called them "living," Bloomberg reports.
It is noteworthy that both the United States and China are actively working on moon missions.
NASA, China and the Moon Bases
In December 2020, NASA presented 18 men and women selected for the first Artemis missions, and the United States Aerospace Agency is now actively preparing for the start-up tests to be held in August 2022.
The mission of Artemis I to the Moon is to be carried out for the first time by a woman. NASA has also announced the start of a competition for the development of nuclear power plants capable of working on the Moon, with three United States companies: Lockheed Martin, Westinghouse and IX.
But does the creation of the moon base by China or NASA mean the actual capture of the moon? Lightlah Ben-Yitzhak and R. Lincoln Heins, Associate Professors of Air University in Alabama, USA, are sure they didn't. They published their findings in The Conversation.
Is there enough resources?
In 2021, the Chinese authorities invested heavily in space, leading the number of launches into orbit, a total of 55 and a total of 51 for the United States. According to data for 2021, Beijing had joined the three spacecraft deployment leaders. The Chinese State Space Company StarNet is planning to create a Megassing Star of 12992 satellites, and the country has almost completed the construction of the Tiangong Space Station.
Despite this, however, the capture of the Moon is too expensive, scientists are sure, and China's space budget, which for 2020 was estimated at $13 billion and increased by 17%, is only about half of the NASA budget; this is clearly not enough.
What does the law say about that?
Legally, China cannot seize the Moon, which is contrary to existing international space law and the Outer Space Treaty, which were adopted in 1967 and signed by 134 countries, including Beijing, according to which "space space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by either declaration of sovereignty or use or occupation or by any other means." That means that no country can take possession of the Moon; if China attempts to do so, it could trigger an international conflict.
In the end, if China took control of some part of the Moon, it would be a risky, costly and highly provocative act, and it was also illegal.