- China plans to place astronauts on the moon before 2030 and expand the country’s orbiting space station.
- China’s latest announcement came against the backdrop of rivalry with the US for reaching new milestones in outer space.
- The US aims to put astronauts back on the lunar surface by the end of 2025 as part of a renewed commitment to crew missions aided by private sector players such as SpaceX and blue origin.
- The three crew onboard the China’s Shenzou-16 mission will replace a crew that has been on the orbiting station since last 6 months.
- The overall goal is to achieve China’s first manned landing on the moon by 2030 and carry out lunar scientific exploration and related technological experiments.
- China’s first manned space mission in 2003 made it the third country after the USSR and the US to put a person into space.
- China in the past successfully launched uncrewed missions to the moon which included a rover. China has also sent a rover to Mars.
- China built its own space station after it was excluded from the international Space station largely due to US’s objections.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB