Thursday, July 17, 2008
To infinity, and beyond!
More bad news for NASA: even their administrator thinks China could beat the US to the Moon. Speaking with the BBC today, Michael Griffin shared his views about the Chinese space aspirations, pointing out that the super-state could, if they wanted to, send a manned mission to the lunar surface within a decade. NASA's return mission to the Moon is planned to launch, at the earliest, in 2020, so this news is bound to knock the wind out of the US space agency's hopes to continue where it left off in 1972…
It's 2008. Racing somebody to the moon is like racing somebody to discover penicillin. It's already been done....by us. Having said that, I think China having a healthy space program is terrific from a competition standpoint. With the U.S., China, Russia, and private venture capitalists competing for commercial space-travel money, that competition can't be anything but good. When there's money at steak, innovators do what they do best...innovate. They'll find faster, cheaper, more efficient ways to go to space, the moon, Mars, a space hotel, whatever. I say get governments out of the way and let the private sector figure this stuff out. Contributor David already touched on this topic earlier this week. Let China or anybody else for that matter do some of the heavy lifting for a change. Why should the American tax-payer be burdoned with the costs of doing everything first? Again? We already did it.