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Friday, December 16, 2011

China Favored for neXt Human Moon Landing

A significant 55% of 334 responding Spaceports blog readers have indicated that the next human to walk the surface of the Moon will be Chinese. The response comes from an on-line poll over the past few weeks.

China is accelerating its human space program with a space lab now orbiting the Earth and expecting taikonaut habitation early next year, according to Chinese media sources. The emerging space power has also launched two previous remote sensing satellites of the Moon, Many believe the Chinese will return a soil sample from the lunar surface over the next six to seven years. Speculation abounds that the Chinese will undertake a human mission to the surface of the Moon sometime around 2022.

Meanwhile, 27% of those responding believe that Americans will be the next to return humans to the Moon. Eleven percent (11%) say Russian cosmonauts while 6% suggest that European astronauts will next walk the surface of the Moon.

While NASA may not be mounting human missions to the Moon in this decade, there are those advocating a private American human mission to the Moon sometime in the next decade, perhaps prior to the Chinese. Space Adventures is expected to soon announce the names of the two humans going on a circumnavigation trek around the Moon aboard a modified Soyuz in this decade, according to sources.

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