News Update

ANALYSIS: US-China rivalry is extending from Earth into space

When it comes to the intensifying rivalry between the United States and China, the sky is by no means the limit.
As the two countries jockey for economic, technological, geopolitical and even ideological superiority on Earth, space has become a natural extension — and crucial frontier — in their great power competition.
And due to the inherent dual-use nature of space technologies, what’s at stake extends far beyond mere scientific prestige and global standing. In addition to national defence, so much of our life on Earth — from digital communications to navigation — depends on satellites in space.
The Shenzhou-12 spacecraft is launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch CentrE on June 17. (Photo by Yang Zhiyuan/VCG via Getty Images) (VCG via Getty Images)
Following the demise of the Soviet Union’s space program, the US has enjoyed a period of unparalleled leadership in space. But in recent years, US observers and politicians have warned that America’s dominance could soon be challenged by China’s fast-growing space capabilities.
That concern has only deepened with a series of important and high-profile Chinese achievements: In 2019, it became the first country to land on the far side of the moon; last year, it successfully put into orbit its final Beidou satellite, setting the stage to challenge the US Global Positioning System (GPS); and last month, it became the only country after the US to put a functioning rover on Mars.
That particular breakthrough prompted NASA’s new administrator Bill Nelson to warn against American complacency in face of China’s space ambitions.
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top