China is constructing the Tiangong Space Station.
Trump created the Space Force to deal with threats in orbit.
The Chinese government is developing space weapons.
Former astronauts are imploring the government to get serious about the space program.
(NewsReady.com) – When former President Donald Trump was in office, Democrats widely mocked him for creating the Space Force. The 45th POTUS was undeterred by the criticism, saying that he thought that’s where the next battlefield would be. In subsequent years, China began developing weapons that would travel through space, like hypersonic missiles and others that can destroy satellites.
The Asian country is also constructing its own space station. That has some experts thinking the US is in a new battle.
Astronauts Speak Out
On May 29, a group of astronauts spoke to The Epoch Times at the National Memorial Day Parade. Apollo 17 Astronaut Harrison Schmitt served as a US senator in New Mexico after he returned from the moon. He said that he thinks the space was largely responsible for the US victory over the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The Apollo missions “was one of the key factors in winning the Cold War,” he said.
Schmitt’s moon mission was lauded as the end of the Space Race with the Soviet Union. The former senator spent three days exploring the moon and was one of the last people to step foot on its surface. He went on to say that he hoped America would be victorious in the “new Cold War” with China. But warned the communists aren’t “letting up,” saying they’re trying to “dominate space” the same way they are attempting to “dominate activities here on Earth.”
Space Dominance Is Necessary
The former astronaut said the government needs to understand there’s a “national interest in being active and actually dominant in space.” Unlike previous years, Schmitt pointed out that the US doesn’t necessarily need to handle the space program. NASA now has partnerships with private companies like SpaceX, taking some of the burden off of the federal government.
Rusty Schweikert of Apollo 9 wasn’t so sure about his friend’s assessment of the situation. He said Schmitt has “the conservative thing going on.” Instead of competing with China, he thinks America should seek cooperation with the nation. Although the countries are competing on land, he explained that space is “humanity.” However, Schweikert believes that politics have prevented that from happening.
Apollo 16 Astronaut Charles Duke agreed with Schmitt. Not only does he think the Chinese are aggressively pursuing space dominance, but he also said America is enabling the country by accepting Chinese nationals into universities.
While the men might not agree on the specifics, they all made it clear the space program is critical.
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