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One, Two Space Powers Envision Earth-Moon Economic Zone: Three, Four?

Nov. 13, 2019 (EIRNS)—In its Nov. 5 issue, EIR Daily Alert reported that director of the Science and Technology Commission of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation Bao Weimin, had proposed creation of an “Earth-Moon Space Economic Zone” which China could create by 2050, with a $10 trillion annual economic product by that time. One can only imagine the frontier scientific economic studies and observations, research and development, production of new materials and chemicals, mineral mining, fusion fuel mining and fusion power development, and other new technologies, production techniques and devices which will be developed in such a vast new “economic zone.”

Bao told an Oct. 29 seminar that he pledged to complete basic research and make a breakthrough on key technologies before 2030 and establish the transportation system by 2040.  By 2050, China could successfully establish an Earth-Moon space economic zone, he said.

But we have learned that the idea may have come as much as a decade or more ago from India, where the Indian Space Research Organization runs the most dynamic space program other than China’s. On Nov. 11 the Space Review, writing in “China’s Earth-Moon Economic Zone Venture,” reported that “More than a decade ago, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, a scientist also known as the ‘Missile Man of India’ who was also the 11th President of India, articulated the concept of an Earth-Moon-Mars economy. His broad argument was that the Earth, Moon and Mars should be considered as single economic entity. At the 97th Indian Science Congress, which was hosted by the Indian Space Research Organization in January 2010. he said, ‘Scientists should start considering Earth, Moon and Mars as an economic complex for future habitat expansion of human beings.’ He made similar arguments at a seminar held at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in New Delhi in November 2007.”

The article, by IDSA’s Ajay Lele also expands about China’s idea. “From the Chinese side, this idea of economic zone was first announced during 2016, by Zhang Yulin, then deputy commander-in-chief of China’s human spaceflight program. Now, after three years, China has come out with a timeline for implementation of this project and it appears that those experts believe that it could become a reality.” Lele continues, “The idea appears to be brilliant on three counts: It would eventually make possible the settlement of the Moon, a dream of many; the technology innovation required for creating that economy could lead to an Industry 5.0; it would expand the concept of the space economy in a big way.”

As with great missions at scientific and industrial frontiers, creating the new infrastructure required is the key. Rapid and easy transportation, provision of new levels and qualities of power and of communications, will have to fill the entire Earth-Moon or Earth-Moon-Mars space. Here is the greatest of “great projects” mission for the United States and Russia—which has already been in discussions with China according to the Space Review—to join in taking up.

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