16 May 2024

The stakes of Space Race 2.0 could not be higher - Opinion

Michelle Hanlon

On April 19, NASA issued a press release announcing that Slovenia had signed the Artemis Accords. Following quickly on the heels of accession by Switzerland (April 15) and Sweden (April 16), this brings the total number of signatories to the United States-led political commitment in space to a whopping 39 nations. Largely ignored by all but the media outlets devoted to space activities, these modest signing ceremonies play a tremendously significant role in the new 21st century space race.

Red Moon Rising: How America Will Beat China on the Final Frontier, a new book penned by Greg Autry and Peter Navarro puts the stakes of Space Race 2.0 in sharp focus — and they’re a lot higher than national prestige and bragging rights. At the heart of this race lies China’s palpable ambition, articulated by Xi Jinping, to ascend to a dominant position in space by 2045. The significance of this ambition cannot be overstated. As the adage goes, “possession is nine-tenths of the law.” Under international law, no sovereign nation may claim territory in space, nevertheless mere presence will translate into superior bargaining power and influence.

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