Saturday, June 11, 2011
China Has No Human Moon Mission Plans
China's Chang'e 2 satellite.
SpacePolicyOnline.com reports that "China's slow but steady human spaceflight program appears focused on steadily increasing experience in low Earth orbit and creating a small space station there."
China's plans for sending astronauts — or "taikonauts" — to the Moon remain unclear. Many statements have been made in Chinese news sources over the years by various Chinese officials or academics that they are or are not planning human lunar missions. This Xinhua story says they have no such plans for now, but as with all such statements in the press, it is difficult to discern government policy. One way to gauge their plans is to look at what they actually are doing and there is no evidence that they are in any rush to send people beyond low Earth orbit.
Space Coast congressional representatives Bill Posey and Sandy Adams have falsely claimed that the Obama administration has ceded space leadership to China which they allege has announced plans to colonize the Moon. They have released no evidence to back up these claims.