China is one of the biggest competitors of the United States, including in the battle of space missions. As of the moment, the Asian country's space industry is currently rising. 

China Space Startups are Improving the Country's Influence! Could it Rival US in 21st Century Space Race?
(Photo : Photo by NASA/Newsmakers)
383927 03: FILE PHOTO: STS-79 astronauts enjoy this view of the Mir complex backdropped against the blackness of space over Earth's horizon. A thin blue line of airglow runs parallel with Earth's horizon, September 24, 1996. Mir is nearing the end of its existence as Russia plans to steer the craft out of orbit in late February 2001 in a controlled crash to dump the space station safely into the Pacific Ocean.

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Can China win against the U.S. in this 21st Century Space Race? According to MIT Technology Review's latest report, although China's space program might have been slow because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are still some space startups in the country that are continuously growing. 

The Asian country's space missions didn't stop since China was able to send a rover to Mars, bring back moon rocks to Earth, and test the next-gen crewed vehicle, which was specifically designed to bring the Chinese astronauts or "taikonauts" into orbit. 

What is the 21st Century Space Race? 

Researchers explained that the 21st Century Space Race is the competition between the United States and China when it comes to space exploration. The battle between the two powerful countries is still happening for the last two decades. 

China is expected to build a new space station this year of 2021. It is also planning to send the country's astronauts to space before 2021 ends. 

China Space Startups are Improving the Country's Influence! Could it Rival US in 21st Century Space Race?
(Photo : Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
SANTA BARBARA, CA - OCTOBER 07: The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base carrying the SAOCOM 1A and ITASAT 1 satellites, as seen during a long exposure on October 7, 2018 near Santa Barbara, California. After launching the satellites, the Falcon 9 rocket successfully returned to land on solid ground near the launch site rather than at sea. The satellites will become part of a six-satellite constellation that will work in tandem with an Italian constellation known as COSMO-SkyMed.

On the other hand, China is also focusing on the commercial space industry. 

"The state is really great at large, ambitious projects like going to the moon or developing a large reconnaissance satellite," said Cornel University researcher Lincoln Hines via MIT's official website

"But it's not responsive to meeting market needs. I think the government thinks its commercial space sector can be complementary to the state," he added.  

A China space agency makes another advancement 

Space News reported that iSpace, a China space agency, is working on reusable launcher landing leg tests, alongside IPO plans. The Chinese private rocker firm is currently planning to file an initial public offering on the Science and Technology Innovation Board. 

iSpace confirmed that it is now making progress in developing the reusable first stage of the Hyperbola-2 methane-liquid oxygen propellant launch vehicle. The space firm already carried out observations and tests for the landing legs of the spacecraft's first stage. This development also shows that China is still making advancements despite the ongoing pandemic.

For more news updates about the U.S. and China's space mission progress, always keep your tabs open here at TechTimes.  

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Written by: Giuliano de Leon.

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