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NASA warns of possible Chinese claims to lunar territories.

Published: 2023-01-03

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) believes that China's success in space and moon exploration poses a threat to Washington's interests. NASA director Bill Nelson said that in the event of landing taikonauts on the moon, China can claim resource-rich areas of the Earth's satellite and even prevent US astronauts from going there.

"It's a fact: we're in a space race," Nelson told Politico newspaper. According to the head of NASA, Washington needs to ensure that Beijing "does not get somewhere on the moon under the guise of scientific research," because after that it can say: "Stay away, we are here, this is our territory."

China has indeed made great strides in space exploration. Over the past few years, Beijing has launched a series of robotic landers and rovers to collect lunar samples, including for the first time on the far side of the moon, and sent an orbiter, lander and rover to Mars.

By the end of this decade, Beijing plans to land taikonauts on the moon. In December, the Chinese government announced new, ambitious projects such as space infrastructure and space control systems.

Liu Pengyu, a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, said Beijing strongly denies such claims. "Some U.S. officials are speaking irresponsibly to distort China's normal and legitimate space activities," he told Politico. “Outer space is not a battlefield. The exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes is the common cause of mankind, and it should benefit everyone, ”the spokesman emphasized.