China’s burgeoning space program plans to place astronauts on the moon before 2030 and expand the country’s orbiting space station, officials said Monday.
Monday’s announcement comes amid against the background of a rivalry with the U.S. for reaching new milestones in outer space, reflecting their competition for influence on global events.
That has conjured up memories of the space race between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s, although American spending, supply chains and capabilities are believed to give it a significant edge over China, at least for the present.
The U.S. aims to put astronauts back on the lunar surface by the end of 2025 as part of a renewed commitment to crewed missions, aided by private sector players such as SpaceX and Blue Origin.
The deputy director of China’s space agency confirmed the twin objectives at a news conference but gave no specific dates.
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