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WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

Space exploration and building colonies on Mars and the Moon are in vogue as countries and billionaires vie to out do one another.

 

Just like the European Space Agency, Jeff Bezos, who wants to also move heavy industry off Earth, and NASA, China has now announced plans to send a manned mission to the Moon and build a research station on the Moon’s surface within the next decade. The announcement was made by China National Space Administration head Zhang Kejian during  speech marking “Space Day,” and comes shortly after the country’s announcement that it also wants to be first to build a space based solar power plant by 2025. And if they do accomplish this great feat then, thanks to Vodafone and Nokia, Kejian can rest assured that his astronauts will be able to get a full 4G cell service when they arrive.

 

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Kejian also added that Beijing “plans to launch a Mars probe by 2020” and confirmed that a fourth lunar probe, the Chang’e-5, will be launched by the end of the year.

Originally scheduled to collect moon samples in the second half of 2017, the Chang’e-5 was delayed after its planned carrier, the powerful Long March 5 Y2 rocket, failed during a separate launch in July 2017.

During the event Kejian also announced the country’s Long March-5B rocket will make its maiden flight in the first half of 2020, carrying the core parts of the country’s first planned space station – the Tiangong, or “Heavenly Palace,” which will go into orbit in 2022, and that’s set to replace the International Space Station (ISS) – a collaboration between the US, Russia, Canada, Europe and Japan – which is due to be retired in 2024.

 

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Beijing last week also said it would launch an asteroid exploration mission, like the one recently conducted by Japan, and invited collaborators to place their experiments on the probe.

With every announcement China ratchets up its focus and spending on space exploration, to the point where, according to the OECD, the country now spends an estimated $8.4Billion on programs – more than Russia and Japan do and second only to the US.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the 311 Institute, a global futures and deep futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future.” Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, CNBC, Discovery, RT, and Viacom, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Bain & Co, BCG, BOA, Blackrock, Bentley, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, Du Pont, E&Y, GEMS, HPE, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, UBS, and many more.

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