China ‘could seize control of the Moon’ amid fears of military ‘long march’ into space

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China is on a mission to seize control of the Moon to get one over other nations, experts have warned.

They believe the secretive country wants to have a lunar base to exploit its rich resources as part of a new star wars campaign.

It comes after its Tianwen-1 spacecraft entered Mars’s orbit last week.

The Chinese probe will spend three months mapping the planet before landing on the surface in May.

Tianwen-1 will look for signs of ice which future human life could use as water.

Leonard David, author of Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet, said: “China is on a long march to establish itself as a vibrant spacefaring nation.

China could seize the ‘high ground’ in a way that no other military force has ever managed before

“They will soon begin building their own space station in Earth’s orbit [and] they are pressing forward on an agenda of lunar exploration – one that will eventually lead to China placing home-grown boots on the Moon.”

A Chinese national flag unfurled from the Chang’e-5 lunar probe when it landed in December

It comes after US military chiefs expressed concerns about China’s ambitions.

Lloyd Austin, Joe Biden’s new defence secretary, urged the US to adopt a “laserlike focus” on keeping its military edge over Beijing including building “space-based platforms”.

David added: “We are seeing the high ground of military strategy move from ocean, land, and air-fighting capability into space – and even out to the Moon.”

Meanwhile, Nasa’s Perseverance vehicle will enter Mars’s orbit and land on the Red Planet on Thursday.

A Long March-5 rocket carrying Chang’e-5 spacecraft blasts off from Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on November 24, 2020 in Wenchang

Last week the Hope probe, built by the oil-rich United Arab Emirates went into Mars’s orbit.

But astronomers have played down the idea of a new space race.

Professor Andrew Coates, from University College London, said there was a great deal of teamwork between the US, Chinese and UAE teams involved in their missions through the Mars Exploration Programme Advisory Group.

He said: “[It’s there to] make sure we’re looking at slightly different, complementary things.

“To have missions launching to Mars during a pandemic – I think there’s something really inspirational about that. We’re going to try and answer bigger questions for humanity.”





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