WELCOME to the space race! It cannot be denied that as the world grapples with a pandemic, China and the US are pushing space exploration through various initiatives. Mars became the venue for the competition earlier this year. The planet is overcrowded with orbiters, namely Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Orbiter Mission, MAVEN, the Trace Gas Orbiter, the Tianwen-1 Orbiter, and the Hope Mars Mission. That doesn’t include the two rovers on the surface – Nasa’s curiosity and perseverance. The Global Times, a daily tabloid under the auspices of the Communist Party’s People’s Daily, said the Long March-5B Y2 missile left the Tianhe module from the Wenchang spacecraft launch site in south China’s province on April 29, 2021 Hainan.

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The module is the foundation of the space station that China plans to build and compete with the International Space Station (ISS), which will be deregistered in 2024. The leading article reads, “When in doubt, the West should be proud of our aerospace successes and isolation. The US once prevented China from participating in the ISS project, urging China to rapidly develop its own aerospace technology. Today we will have our own space station. This will give profound teaching and inspiration to the Chinese people. “What is the US space program like? According to its official website, Nasa (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) “will not drive a competitor. Rather, we will build on the community of industrial, international and academic partnerships that have been formed for the space station. “For some time now, NASA has been supporting private initiatives for its space program. The next launch is on June 3rd with SpaceX’s 22nd Commercial Resupply Services mission. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has teamed up with NASA for the agency’s Crew 1 mission, which kicked off November 15 and returned safely on May 2. The Crew 2 mission, which exploded off April 23, will return to Earth in six months. These missions enable the astronauts to conduct research on the ISS. The ISS is described as “the convergence of science, technology and human innovation that demonstrates new technologies and enables research that is not possible on Earth.” The ISS has been operational since November 2000 and has welcomed 244 people of various nationalities. It will serve as a starting point for missions to the moon and mars. With the ISS out of service in three years, the US and the company may need to find an alternate space hub. The question is, “Will China’s Tiangong space station accommodate them once they are operational?”

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