Jeff Foust on the Asian Space Race


The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has a radio interview with Jeff Foust on the subject of Asia’s growing prowess in space. An excerpt:

LAM: And Jeff, even NASA believes that China can send its own manned mission to the moon within ten years. Quite how good are the Chinese?

FOUST: Well, the Chinese human space flight program is making progress, but it’s doing it at a fairly slow rate. They are only doing one man mission every two to three years, that’s a relatively slow rate. It’s not the rate that you would expect from a country that’s really racing to get to the moon before the United States and anyone else. Certainly, I think their long term ambitions do include human missions to the moon. I don’t think we will see that before 2020. In fact, some Chinese officials talk about doing human lunar missions sometime around 2025 or 2030, which is probably a little more realistic based on the current progress, as well as their current interest focusing more on human missions in earth orbits in developing a small series of small stations.

Read the full interview.