Inspenet, September 14, 2023.
China has revealed an ambitious project that aims to colonize and harness the mineral resources of the solar system, which is scheduled to begin in 2035 and extend until 2100. This plan involves the creation of complex infrastructure both in space and on various planets and moons to support its mining and energy operations. The announcement was made by scientist Wang Wei, who is part of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
What does this plan to conquer the solar system consist of?
The plan provides details on how the country will carry out the exploration, extraction and economic exploitation of mineral resources and water deposits on Mars, the Moon and other celestial bodies , such as asteroids. This initiative aims to harness these resources effectively, as reported by the South China Morning Post .
It also includes the creation of a support infrastructure of astronomical dimensions, stations for mining and processing of resources in order to carry out large-scale commercial operations and transportation routes for resources. In addition, it covers the exploration of the main asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter, as well as the moons that orbit the latter.
Meanwhile, Wang Wei hopes the plan will boost the global space economy and help the Chinese get ahead of coming events: “Just like the miracles created in the great age of navigation, a great space age, with the use of space resources will create the next miracles in human history and bring new prosperity to our civilization,” he said.
Its scientific team has been examining the feasibility and technology necessary for the optimal use of deep space resources for three years and the Chinese Government has set a deadline between the years 2035 and 2100.
To achieve its objective, the Asian country must innovate in the development of new and more efficient technologies in the areas of mining, processing and transportation of space resources, with the goal of reducing costs compared to current methods. This ambitious project has been called “Tiangong Kaiwu” or “The Exploitation of the Works of Nature.”
As part of its preparations, China is scheduled to launch its Tianwen-2 robotic probe in 2025, which will be responsible for collecting samples from a near-Earth asteroid called 2016 HO3. According to information from the South China Morning Post, there are approximately 700 asteroids that are relatively close to Earth and each one has an estimated value of more than 100 billion dollars .
It should be noted that China has identified 122 of these asteroids as economically viable for mining .
Following India’s example, China has scheduled the landing of the Chang’e-7 spacecraft at the south pole of the Moon in 2026, with the aim of searching for frozen water. This could potentially be used as a resource for human consumption and also as a source of oxygen to fuel spacecraft or for prolonged stays of astronauts.
The deployment of the Chang’e-7 spacecraft is in line with the Chinese Lunar Exploration Plan, which is scheduled to conclude in 2035 with the creation of a permanent base on the Moon as part of the International Lunar Research Station project. Once this milestone is reached, as noted by Wei, China will begin its effort to explore and expand its presence throughout the solar system.