China Could Beat US to Moon’s South Pole


WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – China could beat the United States to a manned landing at the South Pole of the Moon, where crucial water resources are believed to be available and then claim possession of the territory for Beijing while keeping US astronauts out, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said on Tuesday.

“The South Pole of the Moon [is] where we think the resources are. There is water and where you have water you have hydrogen and oxygen. [Therefore] you have a gas station,” Nelson said. “I would not want us to be there second.”

The history of China’s attitude towards claiming disputed territories in the South China Sea, especially the Spratly Islands, proved that they had established a pattern of claiming full territorial control when they could establish primacy of occupation, Nelson alleged.

The NASA administrator said US leaders must realize the country is in a space race with China and how serious the race of getting on the Moon is.

“Possession is nine tenths of the law … President Xi [Jinping] and the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] are Hell-bent on outpacing us at any point,” Nelson said.

Currently the US Artemis program plans to return astronauts to the surface of the Moon in 2025. President Joe Biden’s 2024 proposed budget requests more than $8 billion for the Artemis program, which plans to accelerate to annual crewed missions to the surface of the Moon starting with Artemis IV in 2028.

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