HomeReportsIs the US in a space race against China?

Is the US in a space race against China?

Both the U.S. and China have plans to establish bases on the Moon in the near future. (Image credit: Caspar Benson/fStop via Getty Images)

This article was originally published at The Conversation. (opens in new tab) The publication contributed the article to Space.com’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Headlines proclaiming the rise of a new “space race” between the U.S. and China have become common (opens in new tab) in news coverage following many of the exciting launches in recent years. Experts have pointed to China’s rapid advancements in space as evidence of an emerging landscape where China is directly competing with the U.S. for supremacy.

This idea of a space race between China and the U.S. sounds convincing given the broader narrative of China’s rise, but how accurate is it? As a professor who studies space and international relations (opens in new tab), my research aims to quantify the power and capabilities of different nations in space. When I look at various capacities, the data paints a much more complex picture than a tight space race between the U.S. and China. At least for now, the reality looks more like what I call a complex hegemony – one state, the U.S., is still dominating in key space capabilities (opens in new tab), and this lead is further amplified by a strong network of partners (opens in new tab).

SpaceX rockets carry hundreds of private satellites into orbit each year from the seven active U.S. spaceports. (Image credit: SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A clear leader makes for a boring race

- Advertisment -
Google search engine

Most Popular

Recent Comments