U.S. Has The Opportunity To Stay Ahead In The Space Race As China, Russia Alliance May Weaken

Zinger Key Points
  • Despite the China and Russia's perceived space alliance, doubts about the latter's capabilities is casting a shadow over its relationship.
  • While Russia's space program Roscosmos is still operational, it has been weakened by its involvement in the Ukraine war.

Amid the announcement of a joint lunar project with Russia, China has been quietly diminishing its partner's role in its space program.

What Happened: Despite the two nations' perceived alliance, doubts about Russia's dwindling budget, personnel and capabilities cast a shadow over the partnership even before the war in Ukraine.

Bloomberg reported China's focus is shifting towards countering U.S. dominance, and the absence of any country joining the joint lunar research station with China and Russia suggests disagreement over future space exploration standards.

As the competition to return to the moon heats up, NASA launched an uncrewed capsule in November, while China has yet to disclose any timetable for its lunar plans.

While nearly two dozen countries have signed up for the U.S.-led Artemis Accords, none have joined China and Russia.

Read Also: Could SpaceX Or Starlink Be Nearing An IPO? A Recently Passed Milestone Could Be A Clue

The report said this lack of support highlights the importance of China finding more partners as countries prepare for a new era of commercial space activity. If Russia remains its only partner, China may struggle to resist U.S. efforts to shape emerging space economic rules.

Why It Matters: While Russia's space program Roscosmos is still operational, it has been weakened by its involvement in the Ukraine war. It lost its partnership with the European Space Agency and business from OneWeb Ltd, a satellite company.

Roscosmos announced plans to send a probe to the moon in July, and Russian and American astronauts still collaborate aboard the International Space Station. However, Russia intends to leave the ISS after 2024, with the station set to retire at the end of the decade.

Read Next: NASA, SpaceX Scrap Crew-6 Launch To ISS Citing Ground System Issue

Photo: Vadim Sadovski via Shutterstock

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Posted In: GovernmentNewsSPACEPoliticsGlobalGeneralChinaEuropean Space AgencyInternational Space StationNASARussia
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