The red dragon conquers space

On January 3, 2019, the public discovered the power of the Chinese space program through the much-announced landing – the first of its kind in the world – of the “Chang’e 4” machine on the far side of the moon. Thus, China, in its desire to assert itself as a new world leader, deals with space exploration and does not hesitate to challenge the country that ranks first in this field: the United States. After the moon, Mars could be the next desired planet. The Chinese space program will undoubtedly be the one that delivers the most projects in the coming years.

The Chinese spacecraft Chang’e 4 landed on the far side of the moon on January 3, 2019

Historically, China has always been in the background in space exploration. She began to become interested in space in the 1950s under Mao Zedong’s Communist regime. It will first acquire the technology of the famous German V2 rocket in 1957, then other technologies thanks to its Russian neighbor, to send its first satellite into space in 1970 on board the “Long March 1” rocket. For a long period of time, the Chinese space program was not making much progress or gaining special significance, until the 1980s and 1990s when China began to take an interest in the manned flight project again. Take advantage of the fall of the Soviet Union to gather technologies.

Finally, the first Chinese man in space will be Yang Liwei in 2003, which testifies to the Chinese delay compared to the leaders of the sector: compared to the first manned space flight in 1961 to the Soviet Union and the United States. Thus, for China, it will be necessary to wait for the economic boom and the desire to distance the United States from its position as a global leader until the Chinese space program returns to the fore in the first decade of the twenty-first century.

A show of strength

Why ? To advance to the scientific community that this represents, many applications in the military or economic field with satellites of all kinds, especially as a way to show China its scientific strength, because space exploration requires and is used among the most advanced technologies and contributes to confirming its leading position because it enables to obtain results On behalf of all mankind. Space exploration is a new space in which the United States can be challenged to try to topple it, which is reminiscent of the Cold War. A good example of this rivalry, in light of the success of the American private company “SpaceX” in this area, China responded by supporting the emergence of “One Space”, which launched its first missile in 2018.

To catch up, China is very active in space exploration. With three lunar robots, or “rovers,” sent to the moon, which have landed in succession in 2013, 2019, and 2020, and a permanent lunar base construction project underway, the country is by far the most pioneering and interested country in our satellite, but not only: it is building Its own orbital station, parts of which are already in orbit, and which could become the only station if the International Space Station is not replaced or renewed in the next few years. It is also the country with the largest number of missile launches in recent years: in 2019, for example, China ranked first with 34 launches, followed by the United States with 27 launches and Russia with 22. Finally, we must not forget that this extremely rapid development has a price: the complete isolation of China, especially because of the opposition of the United States: all the missile launchers in use are Chinese, with Chinese satellites, Chinese robots, etc …

My subjects Mars

What is the next goal of Chinese space exploration? Mars. Unlike a particular moon race between the United States and the Soviet Union, Mars became the coveted planet and the next target for China. Even if we recently heard a lot about the “persevering” American robot that landed on Mars on February 18, 2021, China is not far from the “Tianwen-1” probe that entered the world. February 10, 2021 aboard a Chinese robot must land on the Red Planet at the end of April or early May due to technical restrictions. Pour Pékin l’objectif, en plus de l’accomplissement scientifique pour l’humanité, est de ne pas seulement rattraper son retard mais bel et bien de dépasser les autres puissances et surtout les Etats-Unis en étant les premiers à envoyer un homme sur Mars.

However, while NASA announces that it will send its first manned mission to our neighboring planet in 2033 and Space X in 2024, even if these predictions are likely to be delayed (especially for SpaceX) in the face of a number of significant hurdles, China has not. Always gives any predictions about when such a job will be dispatched, which may indicate it is not soon. Finally, we must not forget that the Chinese space program does not focus exclusively on Mars but also has other previously mentioned projects: creating a permanent lunar station, and building its own orbital station. , And installing satellites to create its own GPS service independent of American, European, etc.

In conclusion, even if China was not a pioneer in space exploration in its history, it is now laying out the means to become one, which is in line with its desire to assert its global role. More than the race against the United States to send men to Mars, China’s space program will undoubtedly be the one that will propose the most projects in the coming years.

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