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China eyes installing the largest surveillance network on the Moon to monitor its future lunar base

China has ambitions to install CCTV cameras on the Moon as they are determined to protect their lunar assets.

China eyes installing the largest surveillance network on the Moon to monitor its future lunar base
Representative Cover Image Source - Pexels | Bruno Scramgnon

There is no limit to Chinese ambitions as the country manages to regularly grab headlines for its innovative and unorthodox inventions. It has now been established that China is planning to install cameras beyond the surface of the Earth after a report from the South China Morning Post (SCMP) suggested that the country is determined to put surveillance cameras on the surface of the Moon.

Representational Image Source - Getty Images I Photo by Cesc Maymo
Representational Image Source - Getty Images I Photo by Cesc Maymo

Over the years, China has heavily prioritized security and surveillance in their country and as a result, was able to set up a surveillance network named Skynet. The name may evoke memories of The Terminator franchise, somewhat similar to the evil Skynet entity in the movie.

Giving an overview of this upcoming project on the Moon, the Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Centre of the China National Space Administration (CNSA) shared its plan to install Skynet-inspired surveillance system on its future lunar base. The organization said, "The construction and operation of the optical surveillance system for the (International) Lunar Research Station can draw on the successful experience … of China’s Skynet project."



These reports from CNSA have further stated that the lunar version of Skynet will consist of a large number of high-performance security cameras that will be built to function in visible light and infrared zones. These cameras have been tipped to weigh around 100 grams (3½ oz) each, making them lightweight. They are also said to be equipped with AI-driven chips “capable of identifying, locating, tracking and aiming at suspicious targets independently,” according to the Chinese academic journal Acta Optica Sinica.

However, installing cameras on the inhabitable lands of the Moon will not be a cakewalk for China. A specific set of requisites will have to be met by these high-performance cameras with one condition being that the cameras will need to have an operational life of at least a decade. These cameras will have also to meet resistance standards as temperatures on the lunar surface range from extreme highs of 100 degrees to extreme lows of minus 180 degrees. In terms of security, these cameras are expected to be fortified to keep them away from any harm caused by other nations or terrorist organizations.


The success of this project will largely depend on multiple factors like safety, security, feasibility and implementation. For now, the project looks like a tough ask but it would be unfair to rule out China from this race of surveillance. China has done the unthinkable before and there is no reason to believe that this tech-savvy nation will give up on its conquest to rule the moon before any other nation. In recent times, China has built an 'artificial sun,' which was named EAST(Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak) and if reports are to be believed, this man-made sun will be operational in 2025.

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