Russia launches rocket on third test flight and misses intended orbit
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Russian space agency Roscosmos revealed that China and Russia will sign a new space Cooperation Program for 2023-2027 next year. This will include a plan to create an open and inclusive International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) by 2035. The new program will also involve plans to support the development of the ground segment of the two countries’ national satellite systems, Russia’s GLONASS and China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) to be installed next year.
Roscosmos and the China National Space Agency (CNSA) also plan to work on a number of other space programmes over the coming decades.
Brandon Weichert, author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower warned that this could “knock the Americans back in space and in Eurasia”.
He told Express.co.uk: “If China and Russia can remain firmly together in an anti-American alliance where they share money, resources, personnel, and technology…yes, they most certainly could knock the Americans back in space and in Eurasia.
“And once that happens, they would rule the world. Few people in Washington appear to comprehend this. I spent years ringing that particular warning bell and no one listened. Now, they are somewhat and it may be too late.”
He said the renewed battle for space harks back to the space war that blew up the escalating Cold War tensions of the 1960s.
Mr Weichert told Express.co.uk: “A Sino-Russian entente in space will fundamentally shift the balance of power away from the United States, which was the undisputed champion of the first Space Race with the USSR and, following the Cold War, was the hegemon in space.”
He said that while China and Russia are getting stronger in the cosmos, the US appears to be getting complacent.
Mr Weichert told Express.co.uk: “Washington took its position for granted; it stopped innovating and pushing itself farther, especially in the manned spaceflight domain–we never left low-Earth orbit after we mothballed the Apollo program for God’s sake.
“What the Americans have always had at their disposal was an innovative private sector.
“Yet, until very recently, the big defence contractor-types dominated that area and they were neither innovative nor cheap.
“Where is the all-of-society effort from the United States? Such an effort, by the way, exists in China. “
But despite the alleged lack of effort from the US, right now America does still hold the top position, according to Mr Weichert.
He said: “China recognises that it still has a steep learning curve when competing against truly dynamic American companies in space.
“So, now, they turn to Moscow. Russia is the second-most-powerful spacefaring nation next to America, but its space agency is out of money.
“With its money and technology, paired with China’s massive money resources and national will, the two powers can use their state capitalist model to easily best the sporadic Americans in space and knock the United States down from its dominant perch in orbit (and beyond).
“And that is precisely what Beijing and Moscow plan to do–especially now that US policy has driven Russia into the waiting arms of China.”
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China and Russia are now working on a draft of a legally binding intergovernmental agreement on a lunar mission, which is due to be signed in 2022.
Roscosmos told Global Times that this will involve “an Earth-to-Lunar flight system, a lunar surface travel and operations system and automatic facilities with complexes of scientific instruments”.
Mr Weichert said: “The moon missions are a priority for a few reasons. The first reason is that it puts their personnel on the best real estate on the moon before anyone else.
“The second, is that they would be able to place strategic weapons on the moon which could be used to hold the world hostage according to their whims, specifically, the United States.
“This was a concept that the Americans flirted with during the Eisenhower Administration, codenamed “New Horizons.
“It never got off the ground because Eisenhower did not think it was technically feasible and he worried about initiating a whole new arms race with the Soviets that would be fruitless and waste much taxpayer dollars. Sadly, he was wrong in this.
“It was a missed opportunity for the United States to run the tables on the rest of the world.”
He said that now that China and Russia have the opportunity to take advantage of what the US never did.
Mr Weichert said: “Now, China and Russia are re-treading that old theoretical American ground and they intend on actually doing what the Americans refuse refused to do.
Mr Weichert also said that there is huge economic opportunity for the new terrifying alliance to take advantage of.
He said: “The moon will be home to a new industrial revolution that will produce trillions of dollars in the last half of the 21st century.
“With China and Russia building on the best real estate on the moon, they will not only de facto prevent the Americans or anyone else from being there, but they will have the almighty first-mover advantage in whatever money is to be made from the moon and the subsequent space-based economy that will grow from there.”
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