China and the United States have identified possible landing sites that overlap at the lunar south pole, as rivals could end up vying for limited lunar resources in the coming years.
NASA earlier this month identified 13 potential landing sites for the crewed Artemis 3 mission, currently scheduled for late 2025, which will be the first time Americans have set foot on the lunar surface in half a century.
In a Chinese-language journal article on possible landing sites written by Chang’e-4 lunar mission commander Zhang He and others, 10 sites were mentioned.
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China and the U.S. have identified possible landing sites that overlap at the lunar south pole (area circled in red in the image above), as rivals could end up vying for limited lunar resources in the coming years
Both Artemis 3 and Chang’e 7 identified sites near the Shackleton, Haworth and Nobile craters as potential landing areas.
Chang’e 7, named after the Chinese moon goddess Chang’e, will unload in 2024 and will consist of an orbiter, lander, mini-hopping probe and rover.
The overlapping locations are partly due to the moon’s high elevation, good lighting, and proximity to areas of shadowed craters that could trap water ice, according to Space News, which first reported the overlap.
Since the Wolf Amendment of 2011 prohibits NASA from using government funds for direct bilateral cooperation with the Chinese government and Chinese-affiliated organizations, without Congress and the FBI.
Earlier this month, NASA identified 13 potential landing sites for the crewed Artemis 3 mission, currently scheduled for late 2025, which will be the first time Americans have set foot on the lunar surface in half a century.
The overlapping locations are partly a result of the moon’s high elevation, good lighting, and proximity to shadowy craters that could trap water ice, according to Space News, which first reported the overlap.
13 potential lunar landing sites for NASA
Faustini rim A
hilltop near shackleton
Extension de Gerlache Rim 1
de Gerlache edge 2
de Gerlache-Kocher plot
Leibniz Beta Plateau
noble rims 1
Noble rims 2
However, in 2015, the Obama administration started an event called the “U.S.-China Civilian Space Dialogue” to allow space issues to be discussed. This has continued into the Trump administration.
A State Department spokesperson told the space agency backstage: “The last U.S.-China civil space dialogue was in 2017. There are currently no plans for another civil space dialogue.” If a civil space dialogue is scheduled, the United States will announce in due course.
“We have and will continue to maintain open lines of communication with Beijing, including on space safety issues.”
“Several of the proposed sites within these regions are on some of the oldest parts of the moon, in contrast to permanently shadowed regions,” Sarah Noble, Artemis lunar science lead for NASA’s Planetary Science Division, said in a previous statement. Together, it provides an opportunity to learn about the history of the Moon through previously unstudied lunar materials.
NASA officials said they will narrow down the list 18 months before Artemis 3 in preparation for potential landings at each site.
DailyMail.com reached out to NASA for comment.
The two countries have recently had a war of words over space activities.
Last month, NASA administrator Bill Nielsen told a German newspaper that China was planning to take over the moon.
“We have to be very concerned that China is going to the moon and saying: ‘It’s ours now, you guys don’t go out’,” he said.
China was quick to express dissatisfaction.
“This is not the first time a NASA administrator has made irresponsible remarks against China in disregard of the facts,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in a statement.
The U.S. side keeps smearing China’s normal and reasonable outer space cause, and the Chinese side firmly opposes such irresponsible remarks.
Christopher Newman, professor of space law and policy at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom, told SpaceNews, “This is a real opportunity for cooperation and cooperation between two great powers, and it will be an opportunity to show all the rhetoric about space exploration. It’s not just geopolitical. political nature.
“However, it’s actually not hard to see why they all want the same location. It’s prime lunar real estate for in situ resource utilization. This could be the first potential conflict point for resources other than Earth,” he added.
A recent article in Beijing’s Global Times said: “Space watchers also pointed out that as NASA strives to relive the glory of Apollo, China is developing innovative plans to carry out its own manned mission to the moon.”
NASA officials say they will narrow down the list about 18 months before Artemis 3 to prepare for potential landings at each site