A new Space Race?


January 3, 2019: The Chinese Lunar Exploration Program successfully landed "Chang'e 4" on the dark side of the moon. A first step for a potential manned moon mission between 2025-2030.

Later in March, the US government communicated to send again Astronauts to the moon, this until 2024.

Has a new space race started? If yes, how will it be? Also, what will be the secondary effects? New products for consumers? The world is growing together, or gets further separated?

Space Exploration
Patrick Henz
1 month ago

4 answers


Costs are going down for space technology, and needful infrastructure is available at more and more places in the world. The space race of the 60s was motivated by propaganda stunts in a polarized world.

For today there are two major drivers: establish a foothold for humanity on a diffrent world in case earth becomes ecologically uninhabitable, or to start developing space comercially.
For commercial delvelopment most governments see that a basic infrastructure needs to be put in place. For US, this is not so much a government problem as NASA has already made (and are making) investements in tech and infra so private enterprise already could start (read SpaceX).
Other governments are investing not to be left behind in the coming space exploitation.

So yes - there is a new space race coming, but the drivers are governments and big enterprise. as time goes along smaller enterprise will become more prominent.

Jorn Green
1 month ago
Jorn Green , thanks for the answer! Right, this would be completely different than last century, big companies would play a major role. - Patrick 1 month ago

Before creating place for humans in space, you should have started with saying new ERA of Space War. US, China, Russia were having Anti-satellite weapons (ASAT) which are space weapons designed to incapacitate or destroy satellites for strategic military purposes and now India has joined them and rest will follow. How will we stop that, which is creating hell lot of destruction in Space, recently we heard that the debris out of these tests are going to be dangerous for ISS ( International Space Station). How about this?

Masarrat A Shah
1 month ago
Masarrat A Shah , thanks for the answer! Important point! I guess governments and scientists perceive this differently. For the first it is an important strategic goal to win, and show leadership. Scientists may perceive this more as task to gain knowledge, and due to this see less problems in international cooperation. - Patrick 1 month ago
Agree with you on this, both are seeing things differnetly, and too many spoons kill the Broth :) - Masarrat A 1 month ago
Thanks!! - Patrick 1 month ago

The commercial development of the moon will start once costs of getting there fall. Elon Musk's rocket system has shown technology exists to get there (and importantly) get back. I expect to be able to call uber to get me to the moon in 10 years.

David Cottrell
1 month ago
Yes, the mining industry already discussed such visions/ - Patrick 1 month ago

Maybe a new space race could start but new players are involved now. Indeed new technologies are developed but to have these extended to consumers, these must be scalable.

Paolo Beffagnotti
1 month ago
Paolo Beffagnotti , thanks for your answer! - Patrick 1 month ago

Have some input?