As part of its increased challenge to NASA’s supremacy in space exploration, China wants to establish its first base on the moon by 2028, followed by the landing of people there in the years that follow.
According to Caixin, the lunar station will probably be fueled by nuclear energy. The Chang’e 6, 7 and 8 missions would build the lander, hopper, orbiter, and rover that make up its basic design.
According to Wu Weiran, the program’s main designer, “our astronauts will probably be able to get to the moon within 10 years,” he stated in an interview with CCTV earlier this week. He claimed that nuclear energy can provide the long-term, high-power energy requirements of the lunar base.
In recent years, China has stepped up its space program, sending rovers to the moon, constructing its own space station, and aiming for Mars. It now competes directly with the US as a result of the plans. NASA has a rover on Mars and plans to send men back to the moon for the first time since the Apollo program came to an end in the 1970s this decade.
In addition to sending astronauts to the moon, China and the US are both investing enormous sums of money to get access to resources that may support life on the moon or enable the sending of spacecraft to Mars.
China was the first nation to send a rover to the moon’s far side in 2019 and returned with its first lunar samples. The station will serve as the first outpost on the moon’s South Pole, which researchers believe to be the ideal location to discover water. That area of the moon is a goal for NASA as well. In the future, China wants to turn the base into a global research facility.