Views on Whether China Will Lead Space Exploration

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Launching the country's first experimental space station, and building the 'Beidou' navigation system, China's ambitious space program has made great progress in recent years. Surrounded by great triumphs, many Chinese people seem to have developed an illusion that their country is going to take the lead in space exploration. However, as the leader in space race, the US space industry is supported by the best science institutions in the world, and possesses technologies that is far beyond the Chinese space industry. This essay will make some comparisons between the space technology of China and the US, and clarify that China is far from ready to take over the position from the US in space exploration.

First of all, we have to talk about the most fundamental technology required for sending satellites into orbit---- rocket technology. Since the 1950s, America has developed five series of rockets. Among them, the commissioned Delta IV heavy is the most powerful rocket on the planet. It can carry 28.37 tons of loan to LEO (the low earth orbit). In China, the most often used LM II's LEO capacity is only 8.8 tons, and the latest and most powerful Long March V's LEO capacity is 25 tons. Although Delta IV heavy and LM V seems to be almost equally powerful, the status of LM5 is presently very unstable----one failure in two flight, the success rate is only 50%. Also, the first launched of LM5 in 2016 is 12 years later than Delta's. Moreover, US company SpaceX has developed mature technology of reusable rocket. Not only did they manage to cut down the cost of launching by 30%, they made it possible to get a rocket ready for a higher launching frequency. As we can see, although we cheerfully celebrate for Chinese rocket advancement, the US is already far ahead.

The mission of the rocket ends quickly after the launching, and the rest of the exploration is handed over to various kinds of satellites. Although Chinese space station and moon rover has caught the attention of the world, China barely has any satellites launched for scientific purpose. Most of the satellites are launched to show the power of the nation. But when we take a look at the US, we can see that its satellites are voyaging across the solar system, and almost every knowledge that we have of the outer space is provided by US scientific satellites. Instead of showing off power, they are used to support advanced theories, and push human knowledge forward. Obviously, that's what space exploration should concentrate on, and China seems to be a little bit off track.

In conclusion, although Chinese space technology has had tremendous improvement, it's still too arrogant to say that we are surpassing the US. There are still many new technologies to develop and many years to go. Only by acknowledging our real position, instead of living in imaginary circumstances, can we recognize ourselves and go further.

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Views on Whether China will Lead Space Exploration. (2019, Jul 01). Retrieved December 5, 2023 , from

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