There's Something Strange About China's New Moon Base Concept Video

  • China is leading the construction of the International Lunar Research Station.

  • The video depicts what appears to be a NASA space shuttle taking off from the Moon.

Cnsa Video Concept
No comments Twitter Flipboard E-mail

China's National Space Administration, also known as the CNSA, recently released a concept video showcasing its vision for a future base on the Moon. The video outlines an ambitious plan for lunar development over the next 20 years, but interestingly enough, there’s something else in it that has raised a few eyebrows.

A city on the Moon before 2045. China is leading the construction of a Moon base called the International Lunar Research Station. The country plans to aims to finish construction on a city on the Moon filled with skyscrapers, launch towers, solar panels, antennas, reactors, and mining by 2045. Its vision also includes astronauts conducting experiments and exploring the lunar surface via rover. 

“We used to go to a certain point, but now we aim for extensive and in-depth exploration,” a CNSA representative states in the concept video. "The moon serves as a starting point, and an international lunar research station will provide a platform for long-term scientific research, work, and habitation—paving the way for future human exploration into deeper space."

What is the NASA space shuttle doing there? The CNSA video features a rocket that appears to be launching from the Moon in a futuristic rendering of the base. What's peculiar about it is that it’s the unmistakable space shuttle, which NASA used to launch astronauts into low Earth orbit between 1981 and 2011.

The concept video shows an external tank in orange, the color of the foam used to insulate the rocket’s fuel tanks. You can clearly see the legendary shuttle the astronauts used to travel in attached.

An innocent oversight. The U.S. has banned NASA from collaborating with China in any way. Therefore, the appearance of a retired U.S. spacecraft in the video is probably due to an innocent oversight on the creators’ part. Although the original broadcast still features the American rocket, the CNSA has removed it in recent versions.

Anyone can make a mistake. However, committing such an oversight in the middle of a space race with the U.S. is embarrassing, to say the least. It's extra cringe when we consider the that China is currently trying to convince other nations to work with it on a Moon base instead the U.S.

Joining forces with Nicaragua. Nicaragua is the latest country to join the CNSA's Moon base project. Russia has been a founding member since 2021, while countries like Venezuela, South Africa, Pakistan, Egypt, and Turkey have joined in the last two years.

China aims to establish a basic version of the lunar station by 2035. The initial version will be unmanned and consist of a range of scientific experiments and technology demonstrations, including a lunar nuclear reactor. However, the ultimate goal is to make it an inhabited base.

Image | CNSA

Home o Index