Neil Armstrong landing on the moon in 1969 marked the crowning achievement of technology United States, that people said that century was the century America. But the next man who will set foot on the Moon seem to be Chinese.
When the United States space program cut their budgets – a move that was criticized late Neil Armstrong – Asian countries it aggressively developing space exploration.
China, Japan, and India each have a space program. New Delhi, who has a dream of the first manned mission in 2016, has just announced plans to launch a space rocket that will orbit the planet Mars.
Japan’s participation in the International Space Station program and launched its first satellite in 2007. They plan further actions and hoped to find “organic substances or minerals containing water” on an asteroid.
However, experts say that China, which since 1980 focusing on the development of the satellite, the closer to send their astronauts to the Moon.
Beijing launched its manned space program in 1999 and has experienced rapid development since then. China sent their first astronaut into space by 2003 and a mission to walk in space in 2008.
This year, Beijing successfully docked to the manned space module – the latest move to build the space station – a mission that included the first woman in space.
In its last report on space, China has said it will attempt to land a man on the Moon, although it was not explained when the precise moment.
China will attempt to land a probe on the moon for the first time during the second half of the year 2013 and transmit observations of the lunar surface.
“No one knows astronauts from which country will land in the next month. However, I expect the Chinese have a great opportunity for that, “said Morris Jones, a space expert from Australia.
“China’s space program is well developed and stable. If they carry on at this pace, they would reach the moon around 2030. ”
China’s space program remains far behind the United States. This is evidenced by the fact manual sealing space made Beijing recently has mastered the United States since the 1960s.
U.S. President Barack Obama in 2010 announced that it would abolish the Constellation space program budgets, which means frustrate the moon exploration program.
However, the United States is developing a new rocket, and this month landing a rover on the planet Mars for two years on a mission to explore the Red Planet for signs of life.
Beijing has spent about $ 6.1 billion (about USD 58.2 billion) for the manned space program since the program began 20 years ago, state media reported.
Beijing sees the program as a symbol of the development of the country, the increasing technical ability, and the success of the Communist Party that used to change the country’s poor.
However, experts say that national pride is only one factor motivating China’s space program are ambitious.
“A Trip to the Moon always involves prestige, but also knowledge,” said Jones. “A new trend may involve mining the Moon for nuclear fuel. China made no secret of their interest in this possibility. “