(ORDO NEWS) — China denied NASA administrator Bill Nelson’s accusation that China could “capture” the moon as part of its military program.
China on Monday dismissed as irresponsible and slanderous the NASA chief’s warning that China could “capture” the moon as part of a military program, saying it has always called for a community of nations in space.
Over the past decade, China has accelerated the pace of its space program, with a focus on lunar exploration.
China made its first uncrewed moon landing in 2013 and expects to launch rockets powerful enough to send astronauts to the moon by the end of this decade.
“We should be very concerned that China is landing on the moon and saying, ‘Now it’s ours, don’t interfere,'” NASA administrator Bill Nelson told the German newspaper Bild.
The head of the US space agency has said that China’s space program is military in nature and that China has stolen ideas and technology from others.
“This is not the first time that the head of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration has ignored the facts and made irresponsible comments about China,” said Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry.
“The American side is constantly conducting a smear campaign against China’s normal and reasonable space efforts, and China strongly opposes such irresponsible statements.”
China has always been in favor of building a common future for humanity in space and opposed its weaponization and any arms race in space, he said.
NASA, as part of its Artemis program, plans to send a crewed mission to orbit the Moon in 2024 and land near the Moon’s south pole by 2025.
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