One year ago in January, a Chinese robot
landed on the dark side of the moon. Since then, the Chang’e 4 probe and the
Yutu-2 rover it carried onboard have been busy photographing and scanning
minerals, growing yeast, hatching fruit-fly eggs, and cultivating cotton,
potato, and rapeseeds in the moon’s low gravity, according
to the Daily Beast.
Now, China’s National Space Administration
is quietly planning to
launch yet another probe into space. Chang’e 5 could blast off as early as this
Last year, TMU reported that
the Yutu-2 rover came across a strange “gel-like” substance which the Chinese
began to study extensively.
The Chinese space agency has continued to
work on its Tiangong
3 space station and is planning on testing a new manned spacecraft for
deep-space missions. That permanent station will reach orbit aboard the
country’s new Long March 5B rocket in the first half of 2020, AFP reported.
The mission will not be associated with the International Space Station.
It is worth noting that China and Europe
both planned on building a
moonbase together in a move of “international collaboration” back in 2017.
Europe and Russia are also eyeing plans
to send a probe to the dark side of the moon to determine if they should build
a moon base on the far side of the lunar surface.
And the U.S. hasn’t been quiet when it comes
to the space race either with the introduction of Space Force and plans of its
own for a joint base with Russia.
For the U.S., this space race to build a
moonbase is nothing new. A project known as Horizon was
supposedly a plan drawn up in the 1950s that seemingly depicts the blueprints
for a base
on the moon. Project Horizon sought to establish a stationary Army control
base on the moon by 1966 but the operation was allegedly shut down and canceled and
the idea never materialized further.
It was reported in
a joint announcement by NASA and Russia’s Roscosmos State Corporation for Space
Activities that the U.S. and Russia wanted to build a “moonbase” the same year
that Europe and China announced their cooperation. However, the current plan
with Russia resembles another previous proposal called the Manned
Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) which ironically was suggested during the
Cold War. Russia and the U.S. now seek to revive that plan with a base that
will orbit the moon similar to how the International Space Station moves around
The MOL ran from December 1963 until its
alleged cancellation in June 1969. Its mission was
to use an elite corps of secret U.S. astronauts to gather intelligence on the
Soviets during the Cold War.
NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos
stated the partnership was for human exploration of the moon and deep space.
Both agencies signed a joint statement on the collaborative effort. It all
stemmed from NASA’s “deep-space
gateway” concept, a mission architecture designed to send astronauts into
lunar orbit by 2020.
This plan challenges our current
capabilities in human spaceflight and will benefit from engagement by multiple
countries and U.S. industry,” NASA officials said in a statement
at the time.
NASA also had plans leak last
year showing that they wanted to develop their own lunar surface base, which is
now being threatened by
a U.S. House panel.
The status of plans between Russia and the
U.S. as well as China and Europe are currently public and either could be
canceled for reasons of political tensions or something else before they see
the light of day.
“China, the United States, Russia and
Europe are all discussing whether to build a research base or a research
station on the moon,” Wu Yanhua, deputy chief commander of China’s Lunar
Exploration Program said.
The bigger worry isn’t space exploration –
it is weaponizing space. The New York Times reported in 2015 that
space could be the next war zone, warning about the implications of weaponizing
space in an opinion piece literally titled “Preventing
A Space War.” Thu, 02/06/2020
Hedge in-house content is posted under the pseudonym “Tyler Durden”, however,
the founder and main editor was identified as Daniel Ivandjiiski, Bulgarian born,
U.S.–based, former investment banker and capital markets trader, and currently
financial blogger, who founded the website Zero Hedge in January
2009, and remains its main publisher and editor.