WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- In the latest news in a new space race, China announces that it’s building a new space station aimed to operate in 2022.
- China’s action comes after US President Donald Trump made an announcement that funding for the International Space Station will be ending.
- China also plans to launch a team to Mars in 2020.
A space race between China and the US is imminent as China is building a new space station. And the whole world has been invited to participate in the new space station, according to China’s UN ambassador, Shi Zhongjun.
“CSS belongs not only to China, but also to the world. All countries, regardless of their size and level of development, can participate in the cooperation on an equal footing,” Shi told China’s state news agency, Xinhua.
The target for the new station to be operational will be in 2022, according to documents released by the UN’s Office for Outer Space Affairs.
The US said that China’s space agency is banned from using the International Space Station (ISS) or sharing any technology for security reasons.
But the ISS may soon no longer operate as President Trump has announced that his administration is considering canceling the US’s involvement in the space station by 2025. That time frame is three years ahead of the previously agreed schedule, the Business Insider reported.
Trump’s administration is pushing privatization much of the US’s space operations.
NASA has reportedly spent an estimate of $100 billion to maintain the space station in top shape. The space agency pumps around $3-4 billion per year into the program, but those funds may dry up sooner than anticipated, according to Business Insider.
Meanwhile, China is courting many of the partners behind the ISS to invest in its new space station, hotel billionaire Robert Bigelow revealed. Bigelow is also planning to build his own inflatable space station more than twice as big as the ISS.
Ars Technica reported that Europe’s space agency, the ESA, has agreed to a partnership as long as European astronauts would be able to use China’s new station throughout the 2020s.
Some parts of China’s new space station are already complete, including the core module, called Tianhe-1 or “Harmony of the Heavens.” It is expected to be launched into space as early as 2020, with the remaining parts of the station expected to be completed by 2022.
China plans to send a team to probe the dark side of the moon and is also developing a Mars simulation base deep in the Tibetan desert, where it will train astronauts for a possible mission to Mars.
Source: Business Insider