China Seeks to Challenge U.S. Dominance in Space

China is ramping up its space exploration goals. This June, Beijing sent up a spaceship carrying three astronauts. Hours later, they arrived at the country’s new space station in Earth’s orbit. Officials declared that the docking “fully achieved China’s original goal.”

Marking its next achievement, China’s Mars rover later landed on the red planet and sent photos back to earth. The mission made China one of the world’s first nations to land a rover on the dusty red surface, behind the United States.

China’s lunar exploration program chief commander says China must progress its space program to safeguard the country’s space rights. He likens the moon and Mars to islands in the South China Sea, areas China seeks to lay claim to.

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