China plans to lay the foundation for lofty space achievements including exploration of the planet Jupiter and a crewed mission to the moon.
The move heats up another technological battlefront between the U.S. and China with the world’s second largest economy positioning to become a space superpower in the coming years.
- In 2020, China completed the Beidou, its global navigation system made of a network of satellites. Beidou is a rival to the U.S. government-owned Global Positioning System (GPS).
- In 2019, China landed a spacecraft on the so-called dark side of the moon in a world first. In December, a Chinese spacecraft returned to earth from the moon with lunar rock samples in a first for the country.
- Last year, China began work on its own space station and sent astronauts there.
- China also landed an uncrewed spacecraft on Mars last year. China is only the second nation to land on the red planet. The first was the U.S.
With those achievements under its belt, Beijing wants to step up the game. The State Council — China’s top executive body — released a white paper last week laying out the recent successes and goals for the period between 2021 and 2025 as part of the nation’s five-year development plan. Read more