A Chinese tweet caused a certain stir in alien watching quarters late last week. It was from an organisation called the China National Space Organisation (@CNSA_en), and it said:
“With great ceremony we announce the confirmation of alien life.”
This English language Twitter account is not an official Chinese space activity account, but that could simply be because it is an English version of an official one. Either way, most of the official Western space agencies follow it.
Questions surrounding this odd Chinese tweet are as many as the words in the tweet itself. Is it a joke, you might ask? Confirmation that humans finally constitute intelligent life on Earth is good irony, given the nonsense that is going on between China and the US at the moment.
It could, of course, be that the US has said it would reveal what it has on UFOs before June and the Chinese tweet was simply a spoiler. It could, of course, be that the Chinese, with their (allegedly) superior hacking skills, already have the US papers and plan to reveal them ahead of the US.
It could, of course, be that China has its own files and evidence of ‘intelligent life’ and is planning to reveal its own files ahead of the US. Because why wouldn’t you want to steal the thunder of your biggest rival in space.
Whatever the Chinese tweet turns out to signal, it is definitely intriguing.
If you do a little research (frankly, most of it comes to you), you will find that Chinese plans for space exploration are not only catching up with the US but probably overtaking it.
China has plans for settlements on the moon, which will trigger some interesting arguments about ownership. It has plans for a Space Station, on which will be a Hubble-like telescope. Even start-up companies have invented space nets that can be dragged behind rockets to collect all the space junk that is making Earth’s orbit look like the verge of any major highway in the world. Oh, and the US believes China is building space weapons while basically admitting to building, er, space weapons itself.
Ownership of space is going to be a tricky subject. Already, the first – so far humourous – skirmishes are underway. In the UK, a lawyer from Surrey is claiming ownership of Mars because he has been pinpointing it with a laser beam for some years, while you can bet that Mr Elon Musk will claim it for his own, as he is now the Imperator of Mars.
The Chinese tweet may amount to nothing, it might be a smokescreen, or it may herald something bigger. Time, and not much of it, will tell.