A new “promising” contender joins the sophisticated race to dominate space.

The United States literally leaped ahead of the Space Race after famed astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin landed on the moon on the historic day of July 20, 1969, placing the Soviet Union’s 1957 lofting of “Sputnik,” into orbit in the backseat. Then 1961 came, where Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made history as the first person to orbit Earth inside a capsule-like spacecraft named Vostok I, and it seemed the US got beaten again. The Soviet Union didn’t stay ahead in the race, though, as the US managed to reclaim dominance and keep the lead for decades.  Rather than meet the Soviets effort for effort,  President Kennedy set NASA’s sights on reaching the Moon. An American would be the first to set foot on another planetary body in our solar system.

However, as the world evolves and becomes more high-tech, it appears to be that a new contender in the space race will rise to go head-to-head with the reigning superpower—this time against China.


Configuration graph of Tiangong Space Station. Photo:Shijianyang


News about China hopping on the space race bandwagon isn’t exactly news, as this has been announced and known out in the open for quite some time now. They may have had a slow start, but in recent years, the communist-ruled country seems to catch up. Among its space accomplishments are the successful launch of a man into orbit in 2003, the first lunar landing in 2007, its first space walk in 2008, and the deployment of its first unmanned aircraft to the moon in 2013. In 2016, it also launched its first quantum satellite into space, which served as an additional buffer to protect its communication line against hackers.

Over the years, China has made alarming progress in expanding its military space technology, which has piqued the interest of Washington.

In fact, the director of staff of the US Space Force, Nina Armagno, recently commented on this matter, saying that Beijing could possibly catch up, if not surpass America.