China dismissed a claim made by NASA's chief that the communist nation might aspire to "take over" the moon for its military. Chinese officials called the claim an irresponsible assertion, according to a report, and said it has always tried to foster a community of nations in space. [tweet_embed] July 5, 2022[/tweet_embed] The communist nation has made great strides to improve its space programs in the last 10 years, and exploration of the moon has become a primary focus of the Chinese. China succeeded with its first lunar uncrewed landing in 2013, and it hopes to launch rockets capable of putting its astronauts on the moon before 2030, according to the report. "We must be very concerned that China is landing on the moon and saying: 'It's ours now, and you stay out,'" NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in an interview published Saturday regarding Chinese progress. China's space program is embedded in its military, and the nation is famous for stealing ideas and technology, according to Nelson. Chinese officials rejected Nelson's warning. [tweet_embed] July 5, 2022[/tweet_embed] "This is not the first time that the head of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration has ignored the facts and spoken irresponsibly about China," Zhao Lijian, a spokesman at the Chinese foreign ministry, said. "The U.S. side has constantly constructed a smear campaign against China's normal and reasonable outer space endeavors, and China firmly opposes such irresponsible remarks." China is expected to launch its next generation of heavy-duty rockets in 2028 powerful enough to send a crewed spacecraft to the moon, the country's main space contractor said on Wednesday. The new heavy-lift launch vehicle would be capable of putting a 15- to 50-tonne spacecraft on a trajectory to the moon, said Liu Bing, deputy designer at the China Aerospace Science and Technology. It would also be strong enough to place a probe weighing 12 to 44 tonnes on a trajectory to Mars, Liu told reporters at a major airshow in the southern city of Zhuhai, without naming the rocket. China previously predicted it would complete the design and construction of a rocket with enough thrust to transport its astronauts to the moon only by 2030. [tweet_embed] July 5, 2022[/tweet_embed] China still crawls behind the United States in knowledge and technology. The last NASA crewed landing was in 1972 and U.S. astronauts are expected to return to the moon by 2024. China has been preparing the super-heavy Long March 9 rocket with a liftoff weight of 4,140 tonnes and a thrust of 5,760 tonnes, state media reported in May.