To Reach for the Moon – Melinda Liu and Mary Carmichael

Newsweek explains how China’s space race and the country’s dire need for energy are connected:

070202 In05 Vl.WidecEventually Beijing wants to put people on the moon, although the target date remains undisclosed. “Their timetable is absolutely realistic,” says Jim Benson, president of SpaceDev, a private space-exploration company in Poway, Calif. “Some of it actually seems a little conservative.”

National pride is a big force behind China’s moon program, but not the only one. The Chinese are aiming to do more than “just set up a flag or pick up a piece of rock,” says Ye Zili of China’s Space Science Society. What are they after? A limitless source of clean, safe energy to feed their voracious economy. [Full text]

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