Michael Griffin, NASA Administrator told a congressional supervision panel that China’s surging space plan could introduce moon explorers before Americans make a lunar come back.

Griffin presented before the House Science and Technology Committee the cost estimation at a budget hearing. The panel presented a two-party help for a boost in payments on Orion moonship of NASA that is falling behind schedule, including aeronautical research and unmanned science projects.

Funding woes forced the first trip of Orion of NASA back to March 2015; a six-month glide that provoked a series of queries from Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif., if the US can evade its control in space to China.

Griffin, who travelled some of the space installations of China and met with top engineers and scientists, informed the board that China, with its stable economy, is able of a ‘come-from-behind’ lunar hall.

“I cannot speculate and won’t speculate on what China’s intensions are. I just don’t know that”, said Griffin. He also stated “As a matter of technical capability and political will, if the Chinese choose to do so, they can mount a lunar mission within a reasonable number of years, say a decade”.

Just to be confident that he listened right, Calvert asked the chief of space agency if China’s explorers could arrive at the moon before 2020—the time that President Bush led NASA to attain three years ago.

“Of course, yes sir. It’s possible”, Griffin responded. “They could be there before we return.”

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