China Takes Over in the Space Race
If China had been participating in the space race decades ago, they would have placed last; they sent their first satellite into space in 1970, a year after the US put the first man on the moon. But since then, China has been investing heavily in their space program with research, training and billions of dollars. In just 13 years, China has done a spacewalk, landed a rover on the moon, created a space lab that they hope to make a large space station and launched five crews into space, putting them right behind the United States and Russia. Last week, China’s rapidly growing space program announced that it is aiming to land on the dark side of the moon by 2018 and reach Mars by 2020. China has emphasized their desire for peaceful exploration and cooperation with other international space agencies, but they have not yet worked with NASA because of a bill Congress passed in 2011 prohibiting their collaboration.
For more information on China’s astronomical aspirations, click here.