The space rivalry between the U.S. and China is suddenly heating up after a top Chinese scientist said his nation may be able to send astronauts to the moon for the first time by 2030.
Coming just weeks after President Joe Biden’s top space official set out a similar timetable for new American lunar exploration, the comments set up the possibility of dueling missions between the two of the world’s best-financed space powers.
While China has made no secret of its desire to launch crewed lunar missions, the optimistic outlook from Chinese Academy of Sciences member Ye Peijian raises the possibility of an accelerated timetable to match the Americans.
“As long as the technological research for manned moon landing continues, and as long as the country is determined, it is entirely possible for China to land people on the moon before 2030,” Ye told state broadcaster CCTV, according to a report on Sunday from the official Xinhua News Agency.
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