Will China beat NASA and others in the race to the Moon and Mars?


America is until now the undisputed leader in conquering the Moon and Mars. Its space agency NASA are pioneers in space research. They had sent the first man to the Moon half a century back and also set up the International Space Station. This is a skylab where scientists from all over the world work together. Their common goal is to share knowledge irrespective of territorial boundaries and work as one.

Astronaut David R. Scott Gives Salute. [Image source/Wikimedia Commons]

Other activities of NASA

On the planet Mars

NASA has sent across two robots to Mars. One of these is Curiosity that has been there for more than five years. It is busy 24X7 mapping the surface. Another is InSight – it is a recent addition. It will gather data about the inner regions of the red planet. Then will come the next plan of the American space agency of sending a robot helicopter. It will conduct aerial survey with the ultimate goal of gathering data that will help to colonize the planet.

InSight on the Surface of Mars. [Image source/Wikimedia Commons]

On the Moon

The goal here is simple enough. US President Donald Trump wants NASA to go back to the Moon. It had been put on the back burner after the successful moon landing by US astronauts in 1967 but will be revived. The attention had shifted to Mars and the focus will now return to the Moon. NASA plans to revisit it by 2024 and construct a station around the Moon. It will be the Gateway and will serve as a platform for astronauts to travel to and from the lunar surface.

NASA’s plan to get to the Moon by 2024 isn’t ready yet

Activities of China

China has entered the field recently and it played a masterstroke by landing its Chang’e 4 probe on the far side of the Moon. It will explore the unseen side to locate useful resources. China has selected a site that is near to the South Pole. It has an abundance supply of ice. This, when converted to water, can meet the need of the precious commodity for survival. The country has said it will share this with others. Its aim is to build a space station and a base on the moon, and send a probe to Mars by 2020. It is a late starter but could overtake NASA and others in the race for supremacy.

Battlefield moon: how China plans to win the lunar space race

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