China has acquired a position in space. Should the United States be Worried?

In May of this year, China landed a rover on Mars, increasing its presence in space. This feat showed the world the country’s space capabilities and sparked competition in space, but is there really a problem?

China became the second country to successfully land on Mars. Landing on May 14 In the plains of Mars Utopian Plain . Zhurong’s arrival after a successful NASA landing Patience rover February 18, at Jezero crater on Mars. This step is one of many steps China is taking to expand its presence in space, including the development of space stations and the continued exploration of the far side of the moon by the by4 lunar rover. ..

However, leaders in the US space industry include: New NASA Administrator Bill Nelson Former astronaut Pamela Melroy, named deputy director, praised China for this incredible achievement, and Nelson described China as a “very aggressive competitor” and shared his caution. ..

Relationship: Chinese astronomy in the Photo-1 mission to Mars

Issue a warning

Dramatically Nelson warns US lawmakers During a parliamentary hearing on May 19, I posted a photo of Mars taken by the Chinese rover Zhurong. “Look at this picture … it’s a very aggressive competitor,” he said of China.

“They will land humanity on the moon, which should tell us that we need to get rid of our stupidity and move forward with our human landing system program.” Nelson said China’s recent progress in space is “a new factor in whether we are serious about mankind’s moon landing and whether we want to do a lot of work.”

Nelson said China’s success in space seemed to put more pressure on NASA to send humanity to the moon. Artemis program, NASA is currently working to bring humanity back to the Moon and establish a lasting human being on the Moon by the end of the decade.

Nelson added that China is developing three “large landers” to land near the South Pole of the Moon. He also pointed to anonymous reports that China has been overflown in the past decade. He claimed to be planning a moon landing.

Political support

Nelson argued that he would use his warnings about China’s progress to increase funding for US space agencies. “NASA cannot do it alone,” he said. “We want fierce competition, but we need the money to make it possible.”

“Nelson knows NASA needs more money than it currently has to carry out the Artemis program to bring humanity back to the moon,” US Navy War University said in Newport, Rhode Island. David Burbach, associate professor of national security issues, told Space. Com Burbach’s comments are his personal opinion and do not reflect the views of his employer.

“I think it was mostly a very practical way to remind the Senators that there are competitors in space,” added Barbach. “I think China is unlikely to beat the United States and return to the Moon, and certainly has an aggressive Mars exploration program, so China is trying to overtake the United States. I think it’s a stretch that suggests this, but Nelson points out that China is quickly catching up and becoming a very serious player in deep space exploration.

Nelson is not the only one concerned. Asked about China’s space activities during Senate hearing On May 20, he highlighted a number of recent achievements in China. “Not only a very impressive Mars landing, but also a few moon landings, and of course, Space station in low earth orbit“Merroy said.

“China has made it clear its goal of depriving the United States of its space dominance,” she added.

Not everyone feels the same.

“I think China is far from taking advantage of space,” Barbach said. On the contrary, he added, “I think China will be in the second slot if there is a world competitive order of space capabilities.” Burbach also explained what “dominance of space” means. Raised the problem. [things in space]I think the United States is still in a pretty good position. “

Not just a rover landing

Melroy speculates that his concerns don’t stem solely from China’s continued performance. “Adding to other concerns about intellectual property theft and aggressive behavior in space, I It’s no wonder we’re worried. ”

Public law has long raised concerns about the illegal sharing of information, as NASA “cannot engage in bilateral business with China or any Chinese-owned company.” According to NASAIn fact, January 2021 Reuters reportsNASA scientists have pleaded guilty to lying about their relationship to the Chinese government’s program of recruiting researchers from overseas to build relationships.

“NASA will continue to comply with the law,” she continued. “This exists to ensure that the United States considers very carefully any involvement with China, whatever it is, but we have to work together in the space arena. Talking to China may be in the best interest of the United States. “

In May, China raised global concerns when China’s Long March 5 (CZ-5B) rocket fell uncontrollably to Earth. The rocket launched Tenwa, the first module of China’s new space station. It was predicted that the boosters or some of the boosters would be unlikely to land in densely populated areas, but the possibility remained. Fortunately, the rocket wreckage fell in the Indian Ocean, well away from densely populated areas, but the danger has caused considerable concern both at NASA and around the world.

“Space exploration countries must minimize the risk to people and property on Earth from re-entry of space objects and maximize the transparency of their operations,” said Nelson. Written in a statement Before the rocket crashes on Earth.

“It is clear that China is failing to meet the space debris liability standards. China and all space exploration countries and trade bodies act responsibly and transparently in space, space security, stability and security. It is important to ensure long term sustainability. Space activity. “

“Landing Rover on Mars does not affect US national security, but China is working on other types of space capabilities and technologies that affect US national security. Brain Weeden, director of program planning, Secure World Foundation, told E-mail. Weeden’s comments are his personal opinion and do not reflect the opinion of the employer.

In addition to China’s achievements on Mars and the Moon, China regularly works on the military use of space, including anti-satellite missile testing. According to the 2018 report Development of hypersonic weapons that the US Department of Defense is paying attention to. At the same time, China is looking to other countries to expand international cooperation. I recently agreed Build a research station on the moon with Russia.

To look forward

following? China continues to develop space stations, exploring Mars and the Moon, and the United States is pursuing numerous space ventures. Cooperation is generally severely limited by legislation prohibiting bilateral activities between NASA and China.

However, despite political constraints on information sharing, researchers will continue to publish articles on Jurong’s discovery of Mars. Since this is not a direct transfer of information between the two countries, this is a small way that scientists in the United States and abroad can benefit from exploration. , regardless of which country’s spacecraft collected the data.

“The results of the Chinese lunar rover have been published in a scientific journal.” Edwin Wright, a planet Earth scientist at the University of Chicago, told “Therefore, the results are shared with the community as well. In addition, NASA scientists cannot collaborate with China, but “university scientists are free to collaborate with Chinese scientists.” “He added.

Competition appears to trump cooperation as the two countries continue to push the boundaries of science and technology in space. Nonetheless, competition has revolutionized throughout NASA’s history, especially as we have seen NASA land the first humans on the moon, due to political pressure from the “space race.” With the former Soviet Union in the 1960s. That can provoke it.

“I hope this competition will inspire the United States, China and other countries to advance space technology and capabilities that will be of greater benefit to everyone on Earth,” Weeden said. “But if we put too much emphasis on ‘us or they’, space competition can exacerbate global tensions and lead to conflict, which is bad for everyone.”

The potential for increased political and social tensions is an additional concern, in particular: Studies show Anti-Asian hate crimes will increase in 2020, Will continue to increase in 2021 (Experts believe, in part because of the COVID-19 virus originating in China).

“For over four years, much of the United States has made an enemy of China, always without distinguishing between the Chinese, China and the ruling Chinese Communist Party,” Weeden said. “The difficulty is to blame the government for irresponsible behavior, like the re-entry of the CZ-5B, but don’t make it a racist accusation against the people and the culture as a whole.”

Follow her via email [email protected] or Twitter @chelsea_gohd to Chelsea Gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and Facebook.

China has gained a position in space. Should the United States be Worried?

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