Chinese citizens will today determine which student inspired experiment will be sent on the 2024 Chang’e 7 lunar exploration mission.
Young Chinese space enthusiasts from elementary school to the university level submitted more than 578 designs for various space experiments for consideration in the public competition. One of these experiments will be carried by Chang’e 7, along with exploration equipment, to the lunar South pole as an early scouting mission for a joint Sino-Russian lunar base.
China is aggressively expanding its space-based capabilities as its desire to become the leading global space power grows. The Chinese Communist Party is also breaking the mold for space, developing and launching China-only projects, like the Tiangong space station. China views space as a competitive realm, with national sovereignty outweighing a collaborative international approach.
Today’s competition is a clear attempt to build greater public interest and nationalism in China’s ambitious space program. The Chinese Communist Party is building a national identity of China as a global space power, so, short-term, expect more public-facing space-related projects like the recently completed Shanghai astronomy museum. Long-term watch for how China’s approach to space national sovereignty shapes other country’s space programs, particularly the United States’ space enterprise.
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Daniel is the Chief Operating Officer of Foreign brief. He oversees the production and publishing of all of Foreign Brief's products. His background is in the air, space and cyberspace domains of national security and Indo-Pacific geopolitics. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.