Nelson Says US Will win Space Race Against China

Nelson Says US Will win Space Race Against China

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
|
December 11, 2022

Tension continues to rise between the United States and China, and as U.S. lawmakers warn of the threat China poses regarding national security, the race to the moon has captivated the national conversation.

With the U.S. and Beijing gripped in the race to space, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson says there's no doubt that the U.S. will win the space race against China.

Nelson, who formerly serves as U.S. Senator of Florida, and who is also a former astronaut, now serves as the NASA Administrator.

In an interview with Nikkei Asia, Nelson affirmed that the U.S. is planning to to send astronauts to land on the moon ahead of Chinese astronauts in 2025 or 2026.

"There are very, very few nations that do not want to be partners with us. China is one. China has always been very secretive," Nelson expressed in reference to Beijing's goal of sending astronauts to the moon. "I think we're in a race with China," he added.

Nelson expressed disappointment in the Chinese space program, noting that much information hasn't been released. Moreover, he commented on an incident last year where people were left wondering where debris from a Chinese rocket would land.

"The second one we didn't know if it was going to hit Europe or Saudi Arabia. Fortunately, it ended up in the Indian Ocean and China would not let us or anyone know about the trajectory," Nelson said, commenting that the U.S. disagreed with that stance.

When asked about sending astronauts to the moon, Nelson said that China plans to send astronauts by 2030. However, Nelson warns that the United States will have astronauts on the moon before that time.

"If our program is successful, and our commercial lander is successful, I think we will be able to get there... somewhere in 2025, maybe 2026," Nelson explained.

Nelson was tapped to lead NASA in 2021, receiving bipartisan support.

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina is an award-winning senior reporter based in Miami. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida International University. His hobbies include reading, writing, and watching films.

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