Forget simply putting a man on the moon. China's ambition of placing an operational lunar base on the moon's surface could be the first step in a move to gain territorial and mineral rights by right of presence and development.
Robert Bigelow, hotel magnate and aerospace entrepreneur, has a dire warning for the world, “Not only is China now the dominant manufacturing entity on the planet, it might soon say the same thing off Earth as well. In fact, the Asian nation could very well own the moon before long.” With plans to establish a manned lunar facility in a few years, China has plans to be the first nation to establish a base of operations on the moon. Bigelow believes that it will be just the first step in a lunar land grab by the Chinese, one complete with territorial dominance and mineral rights. China’s population explosion can be used to colonize the Moon.
In what Bigelow refers to as "Solar System Monopoly," it appears as if China will be the first to "Pass Go, Collect $200" and begin to acquire real estate off-planet. With plenty of money, a national direction, and the personnel and technology to do it, it has been reported that China could have a moon base up and functioning in the mid-2020. But according to Discovery News, by the time U.S. astronauts return to the moon they may need permission to touch down -- from China, which is laying the groundwork for a lunar land grab, says long-time space advocate and entrepreneur Robert Bigelow.
Owning the moon is the first step in a game Bigelow, founder of Nevada-based Bigelow Aerospace, calls "Solar System Monopoly."
"This will characterize the 21st and 22nd centuries and beyond. If we ignore this, it will be at our extreme peril," Bigelow said at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight under way this week in Las Cruces, N.M. "This would endure for a very long time," he said. "It’s priceless. ... Nothing else that China could possibly do in the next 15 years could produce as great a benefit."
China is aiming to establish a Moon base by 2020. With the newly discovered mineral richness of Earth's nearest neighbor, China could set up mining operations, establishing de facto monopolies over titanium and Helium-3, that are rare on Earth but found with regularity on the moon. Helium-3 will someday be used as fuel for nuclear fusion without the threat of radiation. The moon's raw materials could also be turned into the water, oxygen, building materials and rocket fuel needed for human exploration. But Bigelow said the biggest payoff would come in the form of international prestige, just as it did for the United States after the moon landings.
Bigelow, who founded Bigelow Aerospace and has developed inflatable space modules (in an enterprise designed for a "hotel in space" experience that he hopes to have operational by 2016), believes that the U. S. needs to rekindle its commitment to space exploration and the fear of a Chinese presence on the moon might just do that.
"Hopefully this will produce the fear factor necessary to motivate Americans," he said.
Even without the fear, the U. S. is ill-suited to do anything in the way of competition for the Chinese. With the retirement of the shuttle program in July, NASA manned missions are in suspension for an indeterminate time. Astronaut missions at the International Space Station (ISS) will be accomplished with the help of the Russians, who will ferry Americans to the ISS for the next decade or so.
So who will contest the Chinese? Apparently, no country is in the economic position to compete with China for the moon. The US may have to reveal its military space capabilities or partner with private space exploration companies such as his own and Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic.
In short, China could build a lunar base and begin mining, claiming both territory and mineral rights for its own. From a central position, it could then manufacture outposts, other mining operations, extending its territory. Japan has plans to build a lunar base as well, but not until 2030. By then, they might need permission to land -- or be relegated to areas of the moon less optimal for establishing a base, less mineral rich, perhaps even dependent upon the Chinese for a water supply. Water was discovered on the moon by a NASA probe in 2010, thereby fostering ideas of self-sustaining long-term lunar facilities.
Mark Sirangelo of Sierra Nevada Corp., one of several firms working to develop commercial passenger spaceships for NASA and other potential users, In the last two years, the Obama administration has killed both the Constellation program (designed as America's next man-on-the-moon project) and placed a spending freeze on NASA's budget, suspending it at roughly the same as the 2010 fiscal budget for the following five years.
Do we need a space force?
http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/mil ... orhead.pdf
Road map to settle space, no wars over resources, because resources will be made abundant. I don't promote settling the moon, i promote asteroid mining. How can we be sure the moon is really ours? The moon is older than earth (its not our moon) and the geology is totally different. There might be someone who is not human on the moon already. We might be sharing this planet earth with a species with a claim that is longer than us. Anomalous evidence needs to be studied, not ignored.
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