China’s Space Program Is In The Race… And They’re Closing In

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China’s Space Program is One of the Fastest Growing in the World… And They Just Launched Two Rockets Within Three Hours Last Week.

It’s no secret that the new space race is on. Only this time it’s more like an Olympic event than a head-to-head sprint between two behemoths. Of course, NASA and Rosmocos (the Russian space agency) are still the big players, but they’re not alone on the track anymore. In the quest to land a spacecraft on the moon, China’s already joined the U.S. and Russia. And both India and Israel came incredibly close on budgets that dwarf those of the other countries. Recently, news spread that China’s space program will soon share resources with Rosmocos in a partnership that, quite frankly, should terrify other nations.

We should also not ignore the fact that there are many large space-tech companies in the race. They’re vying for control of everything from the space in low earth orbit to inter-solar-system colonization to space tourism. And American companies aren’t the only ones with the money and the backing to get out there. China has several high-profile space tech companies, too. And the Chinese space program—along with every other aspect of the Chinese government—has a lot more control over its private corporations and citizens than the United States does.

Two Launches in Three Hours?

Yep. That happened last week. The Chinese space agency launched a Kuaizhou-1A rocket with Jilin-1 Goafen 02A as its payload at just after 10:40 pm (EST) on November 12th. Then, about three hours later, one of those Chinese tech companies I mentioned, ExPace launched a small satellite called Jilin-1 Gaofen 02A from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi desert.

Watch the Launches:

And this one:

Those two launches mark numbers three and four for China this month alone. By comparison, SpaceX had a three-month delay between its last two Falcon 9 missions.

China’s space program is no joke, and the rest of the world would do well to start paying attention if we want to stay in the race.

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Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

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