Robert S. Walker, former chairman of the House Science Committee, writes in the Washington Times that the Chinese are planning not only to go to the moon, but to set up a base there and occupy it. When we went to the moon, we erected an American flag there, but we’ve never claimed it as ours. What will happen if China claims the moon belongs to them?

The European Space Agency is getting ready to go to Mars with robots, just like we did, but neither of us wants to annex Mars as one of our territories. However, as soon as valuable minerals are found on a planet, and an inexpensive method is devised to get them back to Earth, it’s inevitable that countries will start to stake claims in outer space. We know that Helium 3, which is rare on Earth, is abundant on the moon.

Walker is convinced that “China intends to be on the moon within a decade and will announce they are there for a permanent stay. An investment of less than 1% of their growth revenues over the next decade would provide revenue for a very robust program.” Besides access to Helium 3, annexing the moon would bring international prestige to China, which is something they dearly desire. China’s ambitions are waking other countries up to the need to stake their own claims. Walker says, “Many Japanese space observers are convinced that China has a moon program and that, ultimately, Japan may be drawn into the competition. India already has created its own moon mission, in large part because they are monitoring Chinese space efforts.” This happened before in Asia, the Caribbean and Africa, so there’s no reason it can’t happen with nearby planets and satellites. What comes after that??Will we fight “no trespassing” wars in space?

“At my Washington office a few weeks ago, I met with a visiting Japanese parliamentarian who specializes in science and technology issues,” Walker says. “I related to him my belief that the Chinese would be on the moon within a decade with a declaration of permanent occupation. He disagreed. He smiled and said my conclusion was accurate but my timing was off. In his view, the Chinese would be on the moon within three to four years.” And once they get there, will they claim it for themselves?

Why do some people seem to have all the power here on Earth?

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