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China Slams NASA Chief Nelson as Race to the Moon Gets Heated

US wins support for effort to make rules for space as China pitches lunar plan to neighbors.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson 

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson 

Photographer: NASA/Getty Images 

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The competition between the US and China to explore outer space turned prickly after Chinese diplomats blasted the head of NASA and encouraged neighboring countries to support Beijing’s plan for exploring the moon.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian on Monday accused NASA Administrator Bill Nelson of lying “through his teeth” in response to reported comments in a German tabloid about the space competition between the two countries.