The newest space race just heated up with China unveiling the world’s largest radio telescope. The 500-meter device took five years and $180 million to complete. It’s bigger and more powerful than NASA’s Kepler telescope and the Chinese claim it has double the sensitivity and 10 times the surveying speed.
CHINA TO BEAT NASA’S KEPLER TELESCOPE IN SEARCH FOR ALIEN LIFE
China says their telescope (FAST) will find gravitational waves, radio emissions from stars and even listen for signs of intelligent life. The ultimate goal of FAST is to discover the laws of the universe. Some would say NASA and its Kepler Telescope has a similar goal. Now, it’s just a race to see who can do it first. With a name like FAST, though, the Chinese seem to have a head start.
CHINA RELOCATED 8,000 PEOPLE TO BEAT NASA KEPLER
Beating NASA’S Kepler Telescope came at a price for villagers in China. The CCTV announced that more than 8,000 people from eight different villages were forced out of a three-mile radius to make room for the FAST telescope. It’s unknown whether any compensation of some kind was given. Furthermore, it’s unlikely that the CCTV even cares. They have their eyes set on even bigger goals.
CHINA LEAVES NASA’S KEPLER TELECOPSE IN THE DUST; SIGHTS ON MARS
The Chinese government aims to land a solar-powered rover on Mars by 2020. Furthermore, they will become the first country to send something to the far side of the moon that same year. Surprisingly, the country’s annual budget for space is less than the U.S. However, the U.S. is spending most of their cash on environmental issues these days. Meanwhile, the Chinese are pouring billions into their ambitious space and science projects and even a military space program that launched their second space station. Gone are the days of the American dominance in space. The Chinese are quickly becoming the new space superpower and a powerful one at that.