China is launching a 21st Century space race against Elon Musk’s Space X by ordering the construction of an advanced spacecraft to bring Chinese astronauts to the moon, Bloomberg reports.
In addition to a lunar mission, the spaceship will be able to fly in low-Earth orbit. China’s announcement comes on the heels of Space X sharing its plan for a tourist mission to our celestial satellite.
China, which matched the number of rockets the United States launched last year, has advanced its space program considerably in recent years after starting its space program in 2003, according to Bloomberg.
The lunar mission fuels the ongoing space race among China, Russia, and the U.S. China plans to have its own permanent space station up and running in five years, with the manned mission to the Moon launched sometime after that.
Later this year, the Chinese plan to send a probe to the moon’s surface to collect samples for its scientists to study, the state-run China Daily reports.