Shared moon dream
Before setting out in the lander for the moon in 1969, the US Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were told to watch out for “a big rabbit” from China, as according to a traditional Chinese legend Yutu, the Jade Rabbit, accompanies the goddess who lives on the moon.
Today the lunar bunny is once again attracting worldwide attention, as China’s lunar rover is named after Yutu, who symbolizes mildness and goodwill in Chinese traditional culture, says an opinion piece in People’s Daily.
From the Shenzhou series of spacecraft to the latest Chang’e 3 mission, named after the moon goddess, China continues to make progress on its journey into space. As space missions are seen as representing the apex of a country’s technology, speculation and doubts about the purpose of China’s moon missions will certainly appear, but they are never the dominant voices.
On the contrary, mainstream media outlets in the West have generally shown an appraising attitude toward China’s space achievements. An article on the official website of UK-based Nature described China’s space program as “methodical and almost flawless”, while the Spanish newspaper El Pais compared China’s efficiency with some other countries’ uncertainty in space exploration due to the lack of support.
A European Space Agency official said some of its personnel are working hard to learn the Chinese language so they can strengthen cooperation with China.
It is the sincerity of China that has won this trust. China is willing to share the fruits of its progress in space technology with any country that will use it for peaceful purposes. That’s real friendship instead of empty platitudes. Having opened its space station to many countries for space experiments, China is showing that its space dream is an opportunity for cooperation rather than threat.
In the Hollywood movie Gravity, China’s Tiangong-1 space station is shown as the only hope for astronauts to return to earth. That is more than just a calculated commercial move to please Chinese audiences — it embodies an increasingly popular perception that China’s space technology is a benefit to all, rather than a threat.
China will continue to realize its space dream, which is also the dream of people around the world.