The Russian Military Commentary page recently has an article analyzing Russia’s position in the space race, including the Moon program. The article poses the question: “Moon: China vs America. Where will Russia’s position be located? ”.
According to the article, China, although joining the race much later than the Soviet Union and the US, has now achieved remarkable achievements. According to the Russian newspaper, China possesses a weapon that is both secret and not surprising, it is the “socialist plan”. That means conceptualizing and clearly planning out how to do it.
|China launched a probe of Thuong Nga 5 on the Moon|
This is also what the Soviet Union did before when taking the lead in the space race. By abandoning this path, Russia has lost its leading position, according to Military Commentary. Meanwhile, China continues to execute its ideas, catching up with and even outperforming its competitors.
The Russian newspaper reports that China’s latest success in its lunar expedition is that the Thuong Nga 5 (Chang’e-5) spacecraft successfully brought rock samples from the surface of Ms. Hang to the Earth. It was also the first time in 45 years that a country had done this since the Soviet Union carried out similar work on the Luna-24 exploration mission in 1976.
For the US, the Military Commentary especially noted that the government since President Barack Obama’s time prioritized creating conditions for private participation in the field of space exploration. The most prominent result is the introduction of SpaceX with reusable boosters that help Americans reduce their dependence on Russia.
Accordingly, the Americans solving the problems of boosters will help them achieve their ambitions from the time of former President Donald Trump. That is the Artemis plan to bring Americans back to the Moon by 2024.
Artemis builds on ongoing spacecraft programs that include Orion, Lunar Gateway, Commercial Lunar Payload Services and adds an undeveloped amphibious ship. The Space Launch System (SLS) will serve as the primary launch vehicle for the Orion spacecraft, while commercial companies’ spacecraft launch services are planned to be used to launch the components. another program.
|The United States is working on a plan to return people to the Moon by 2024|
However, the Russian newspaper also pointed out that the US limitation in this race is too much dependence on the personal preferences of each President’s life. For example, the return to the moon program was rejected by Mr. Obama and it is not clear how the new President from the Democratic Party of Joe Biden will decide with this ambition.
Despite this, private participation is believed to be fully capable of realizing the American plan, notably Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Zeff Bezos’s Blue Origin. Both have announced they will cooperate with the US Aerospace Agency (NASA) in the Moon program.
Where is Russia?
As for Russia, Military Commentary said that those were just past glory, but also only of the Soviet Union, not of Russia. In terms of the number of rocket launchers in space, Russia is currently behind the US and China with a decrease of only 15 cases in 2020.
The newspaper cites the assessment of the Czech publication iDNES that while Russia cannot deny Russia’s creative possibilities, Russia has recently lost its clear and understandable goal. Russian leaders show their determination to achieve “everything” in the space field but are unable to come to a “logical conclusion”.
|The pride of the Russian space industry is currently the transport ships Soyuz (United) with connecting flights to the ISS.|
The Military Commentary ironically states that indeed the Czechs have no right to judge Russia’s success or failure because the Czechs have yet to establish anything in the space realm. However, it is a fair assessment to predict that the future projects of the Russian Aerospace Agency (Roscosmos) will end with no results!
Since 2005, Russia is still struggling with reusable spacecraft projects, sometimes the “Orel”, sometimes the “Argo” but it is still unclear what type of ship will be fully developed. From 1995 up to now, Russia is still “diligently” developing the module “Nauka” (roughly translated as Science). According to Military Commentary, it looks like the work is 80% complete and will likely be launched onto the International Space Station (ISS) in 2021! And Russia’s Venus expedition program is also not serious.
The Russian newspaper argues that loud statements and elaborate presentations based on backward space technology from the mid-twentieth century, which laid the foundations for pioneering from the Soviet era, are mere statements. Dad is empty and insignificant.
|The picture shows some “ancient” equipment of the Russian space industry|
On this point, the Military Commentary argues that Russia and the US face a similar problem, the dependence on individual leaders’ attitudes towards space programs and the lack of a plan. specific plan. Meanwhile, China has a clear plan as well as the ability to materialize plans that will dominate the space race, not just Moon-related programs.
Meanwhile, the website of the Australian Institute of Strategic Policy (ASPI) assesses that the US, although no longer able to maintain its superiority in the space field, is still a leading country despite the fact that China is rising. fast. The next phase of competition in the space sector is expected to involve establishing a mining facility on the Moon.
Moon mining is important for two reasons. First, the ice on the lunar surface can be converted to hydrogen and oxygen which can be used as rocket fuel, which is crucial for deeper and further space missions. Second, the lunar surface contains high-value rare earth metals used in technologies in the manufacture of cell phones, batteries, and military equipment.
China currently produces about 90% of the world’s rare earth metals, a significant advantage over other countries, including the US. By sourcing these metals from the Moon, countries can reduce their dependence on China for the commodity.
|Is space race currently the arena for the US and China?|
In October 2020, former US President Donald Trump initiated the Artemis Agreement, a set of bilateral agreements between the US and Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Thereby, he sets out the principles for the future exploration of civil space. The problem is that the Artemis Agreement ignores consultation from the United Nations to avoid including China.
According to analysts, China was excluded from the international order led by the US in the space field. China is not a partner in the ISS program, and the US Constitution since 2011 also limits NASA’s ability to cooperate with China in the space field.
Without international standards, ASPI contends that countries can participate in a fierce race to gain competitive advantage. Uncontrolled trade can cause a wide range of problems, from space pollution jeopardizing spacecraft to worrisome biological problems.