Peter Bartholomew is discussing:

China on Thursday launched the core module for its first permanent space station as the country pursues its ambitious space programme. The Tianhe, or โ€œHeavenly Harmonyโ€ module, blasted into space on the Long March-5B Y2 rocket from Hainan, an island in southern China, according to state media. The module will become the management and control hub of Chinaโ€™s Tiangong space station, which could be operational by the end of next year, state media said. China is planning for astronauts to live in the core module of the station for up to six months at a time; at least 12 astronauts are training now for such missions. China has invested heavily in its space programme, a source of national pride and touted as a symbol of the countryโ€™s growing technological expertise and strength. Beijing aims to become a major space power by 2030.

Hard to believe that the CCP is this foolish. They must have ulterior designs. Going to Mars is an expensive boondoggle, with limited upside. Much better to establish a moon base with mining operations, or develop techniques to mine asteroids. Getting to Mars gives one bragging rights but little else. The Chinese don't seem that shallow. Calculating and evil, but not frivolous. Maybe I am wrong.

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