NASA administrator Bill Nelson recently expressed concern about China’s goals in space, and in particular that China would somehow claim ownership of the moon and stop other countries from exploring it. in a interview with a German newspaperwarned Nelson: “We should be very concerned about China landing on the moon and say, ‘It’s ours now and you stay out.'” China immediately denounced the claims as a “lie”

This feud between NASA administrator and Chinese government officials comes at a time when both nations are active at work On missions to the moon — and China hasn’t been shy about its lunar aspirations.

In 2019, China became the first country to land a spacecraft on the other side of the moon. That same year, China and Russia announced: joint plans to reach the South Pole of the Moon by 2026. And some Chinese officials and government documents have expressed intentions to build a permanent, manned International Lunar Research Station by 2027

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There is a big difference between China – or any state – setting up a lunar base and actually “taking over” the moon. As two scientists studying space security and China’s space program, we believe that neither China nor any other country will take over the moon for the foreseeable future. Not only is it illegal, it’s technologically daunting – the costs of such an undertaking would be extremely high, while the potential payoffs would be uncertain.