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The Race to Dominate Cislunar Orbit

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During China’s 70th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, President Xi Jinping proclaimed, “No force will stop or shake China or its people from achieving its goals” One of which includes exploiting Earth/Moon space.
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China’s push to build its own National Space Station continues to accelerate.

On May 5th, the PRC tested their next generation crew spacecraft on the Long March 5B rocket. 

A massive 10-engine launch vehicle designed to carry heavy payloads, kicking off the initial  construction phase of China’s National Space Station. 

National, not international. 

During China’s 70th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, President Xi Jinping proclaimed, “No force will stop or shake China or its people from achieving its goals” 

Based on that statement, and last “Two Sessions” outline of the Chinese Dream of National Rejuvenation, red flags are emerging across the international community, particularly in Space, as China’s current trajectory is on a vector of dominance, not cooperation. 

In a recent press release, the PRC outlined their plans for Cislunar Orbit – the space between the Earth and the Moon…. and Lunar Mining.  

The deputy chief of the Armament Development Department of the Central Military Commission said, “The earth-moon space will be strategically important for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, noting the abundance of Silicon dioxide on the Moon and water in the Polar regions, providing the materials needed to construct a space-based solar power plant 25 times larger than the International Space Station. 

The Lieutenant General went on to say, “The future of China’s manned space program is not a moon landing, which is quite simple, or even the manned Mars program which remains difficult, but continual exploration of the earth-moon space with ever developing technology.”

Months before the Chinese launch in May, the Trump Administration began drafting a legal blueprint for mining on the Moon under a new US sponsored international agreement called the Artemis Accords. The program is proposing “safety zones” that would surround future Moon bases to prevent damage or interference from rival countries or companies operating in close proximity. 

Formal negotiations with Canada, Japan, the EU and UAE are underway. 

As countries increasingly treat space as a new military domain, the US-led agreement is emblematic of NASA’s growing role as a tool of American Diplomacy. With their plans to put humans back on the moon by 2024, and building up a “sustainable presence” on the Lunar South Pole thereafter, finding a way to co-exist in Cislunar orbit and on the Moon is becoming a priority. 

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Daily Brief

China’s ambitious Space Program has big plans for 2049



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Space Channel News

China’s ambitious plan for Mars

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Continuing our coverage on China’s Space Program, the PRC's high-definition Earth observation project is successfully in orbit and operational. A microwave remote sensing satellite capable of providing photographs with a ground-level resolution of less than a metre.
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Continuing our coverage on China’s space program, Euronews.com is reporting the country’s high-definition Earth observation project is successfully operational and in orbit. A microwave remote sensing satellite capable of providing photographs with a ground-level resolution of less than a metre.

“With that level of accuracy, you can easily identify someone’s face from space.”

The PRC said it will be used for urban planning, road network design, crop yield estimates, disaster relief and more. A similar lens and satellite technology is being developed by Teledyne in the United States. More coverage on them soon…But China’s sites aren’t just on the Earth.

Out in the Gobi Desert, China’s next generation of explorers are learning how to live and work on other planets at MARS BASE 1. A state of the art self-sustaining facility with food, water, supplies and rovers!

Whoever gets to Mars first, it’s likely they’ll be greeted by a thriving microbial ecosystem.

“Former NASA scientist Gilbert Levin said he’s convinced we’ve already detected life on Mars, back in the 70’s”

NASA’s Viking Missions discovered surface water, methane, ammonia and other common ingredients for life. Adding to the mystery are the “wormlike” features appearing in Curiosity Rover images.

And further into the frontier, data from the Cassini Mission has found evidence of Amino Acids on Saturn’s Moon, Enceladus. A researcher on the project said, “This work shows that Enceladus’ ocean has reactive building blocks in abundance, and it’s another green light in the investigation of the habitability of Enceladus.” And when it comes to aliens, a recent Nobel Prize winner is convinced we’ll find ET before 2050 (in 30 years), saying,

“I can’t believe we are the only living entity in the universe.”

There are just way too many planets, way too many stars, and the chemistry is universal. The chemistry that led to life has to happen elsewhere.” – Didier Quelled

In a biological universe, life would be the rule, not the exception. We’ll keep you posted as the answer to this question seems inevitable.

Closer to home, interplanetary startup Mars City Design is breaking new ground with an innovative approach to space tourism. Cooking a meal with ingredients only found on the Red Planet. A special event with some of the biggest names in the industry. NASA, JPL, Bloomberg, SpaceX and cast of Amazon’s Expanse.

And following up on the recent spat between NASA and SpaceX, Elon Musk and Jim Bridenstine mended fences at a recent meetup in California to discuss future deadlines and challenges of aerospace engineering. While the event was press friendly, behind the scenes NASA is still managing the fallout from Elon’s appearance on the Joe Rogen Experience and moving forward with a safety assessment review to ensure a drug-free workplace under the Strainer contract.

While cannabis is legal in many states, it’s still illegal on the federal level. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said, “As an agency we’re not just leading ourselves but our contractors, as well. We need to show the American public that when we put an astronaut on a rocket, they’ll be safe.”

In other job news, an update from our friends at SpaceTalent.org. Third quarter saw accelerated capital inflows and significant industry developments across the space economy. Driving much of the surge in investment this quarter was Jeff Bezos’ estimated $1.4B, following the sale of $2.8B of his Amazon stock. Also contributing were several large funding rounds for

Relativity Space ($140M)
Synspective ($80M)
HawkEye 360 ($70M)
Spire ($40M)

A real sign of just how vibrant the space industry is becoming download the full report here.

One startup we’ve had our eye on is LeoLabs. With their Kiwi Space Radar in place, they can track objects as small as 2 centimeters. And for good reason…

Swarm Technologies just got approval from the FCC to launch hundreds of sandwich sized satellites to connect smart devices around the world. Currently there are nearly 2,0000 operating satellites, 2800 inactive ones, and by 2030 that could jump to over 200,000. SpaceX and ORBCOMM have filed complaints, but Swarm’s application has been granted, adding more devices to our crowded skies.

Building a master control for space is smart bet.

Finally, cool new space suits! NASA’s next generation design for the Artemis missions with improved mobility and new tech throughout.

Not to be outdone, Virgin and Under Armour unveil a full line of “Spacewear” with plans to make space-related performance gear available to the public.

From space suits to space walks, a big shoutout to astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir for completing the first all-female space walk. One of the most difficult things to do, and their mission was flawless. Well done.

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