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Head of NASA claims China is conducting military experiments in space

Published Apr 23rd, 2024 7:01PM EDT
bill nelson
Image: NASA/Bill Ingalls

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NASA’s administrator, Bill Nelson, is once again making some pretty big claims about China’s ongoing space missions. While it is no secret that China’s secret space plane is doing things we don’t fully understand, Nelson claims that the country’s entire space program is actually just a cover-up for China’s ongoing military space experiments.

Nelson made these comments during a hearing before the House of Appropriations Committee on Capitol Hill, The Guardian reports, saying that China and NASA are “in a race.” Of course, this isn’t really that surprising. Talk of China and the United States being in another space race has long been whispered about in various circles.

That said, China’s advancements in space exploration have improved drastically in the last several years, and Nelson seems to think that’s all because of China’s military space experiments. Of course, these claims are also being thrown around at the same time that Nelson and NASA as a whole are asking for more money, requesting roughly $25.384 billion for funding in 2025.

moon surface, moon dust
China and NASA are in a race to get to the Moon first. Image source: helen_f / Adobe

This isn’t all that surprising, especially considering the problems that NASA’s Mars Sample Return mission are facing right now in regards to budget. The interesting thing is, though, that Nelson doesn’t seem to have any actual data to back up these claims, at least not that he’s openly sharing. Instead, he just continues to make remarks about how China is advancing in the last decade.

Sure, that might be troublesome, and who knows, perhaps China is pouring money into its military space experiments. But so far, the country has given no indication publicly that it plans to hoard resources if it gets to the Moon first, or that the Chinese space station is anything more than a traditional research facility just like NASA’s International Space Station. In fact, China has even rebutted such claims that it plans to “steal the Moon.”

Of course, this could all just be political pandering by the country to try to impact public opinion of China, which is already extremely low on the American side. But claims like this, without any substantial data to back them up, do feel a bit heavy-handed, especially when Nelson continues to spew them out whenever new funding ventures for NASA Come up.

Obviously, I cannot speak to the validity of the statements about China’s military space experiments. But I can say that accusations without substantial data to back them up can only enflame tensions even more, and possibly lead to issues with other allies in our space exploration endeavors.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.