China may be a late bloomer in space exploration, but it has unveiled a grand vision that could see it become the first nation to build a lunar base on the moon.
Not only does Beijing want to get Chinese boots on the surface within the next seven years, it may also beat the US to having a permanent outpost there.
NASA has previously revealed a goal of establishing its own Artemis Base Camp by the 2030s, a timeline which would put the two countries on a collision course and set up the mouth-watering prospect of an epic 21st century space race.
Wu Weiren, the physicist who leads China’s moon mission, told state media that Beijing wants to create a lunar science and research station before the end of the decade.
‘By 2030, the footprints of the Chinese people will be left on the moon,’ he said. ‘There’s no question about it.’