This legendary line from Star Wars left us all in suspense, as the fate of the planet Alderaan hung in the balance.
Of course, we were in movie land. There was no such thing as real Death Stars or missiles from outer space.
Does China have plans to change all that?
It may seem far-fetched, but reports from the China Times reveal that the country's recent Long March-3B rocket launch is part of a long-term plan to establish a Chinese military base on the moon.
How do they plan to pull it off?
The recently launched Chinese lunar rover is also said to be part of this plan.
According to multiple reports, Chinese officials have indicated that the rover is actually intended to begin setting up an installation on the moon where missiles could be launched, officially turning Earth's natural satellite into a real-life Death Star.
The reports of this impossible-sounding plan have been given credence by an expert at the China National Space Administration's Lunar Exploration Program Center.
It was this expert who told Chinese reporters that the lunar base would be possible. The Bejing Times also ran the story, stating the discussions regarding establishing a missile base for the People's Liberation Army are still ongoing.
China has quickly ramped up its space program in the past few months, launching the March-3B rocket and Chang'e-3 lunar rover earlier this month. The country hopes to send its first astronaut to the moon by 2030. Chinese president Xi Jinping states that he wants the country to become a space superpower.
Once established on the moon, China's rover is set to search for natural resources and conduct geological surveys, which has led to further speculation that the country is searching for easy-to-reach building materials on the surface.
The rover is intended to stay on the lunar surface for at least 90 Earth days (three lunar days), and search an area of only five square kilometers. In the process, it will also probe beneath the moon's surface.
The probe and other Chinese endeavors to the moon are being closely monitored by US officials and the European Space Agency, which so far have cooperated closely with China on its lunar missions.
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