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China plans nuclear moon base, threatens NASA supremacy

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Plans are in place for a station on the moon by 2028, with astronauts touching ground shortly after, Chinese lunar exploration programme chief Wu Weiran has told state media.

The station – likely fuelled by nuclear energy – will consist of a lander, hopper, orbiter and rover constructed by the Chang’e 6, 7 and 8 missions, and will eventually be expanded into an international research station.

The moon’s South Pole, where scientists hope to find water, will host the base and is a designated target of NASA, putting Beijing and Washington in direct competition.

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