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China's recent successful manned mission has started a space race debate

Now that China has successfully completed its first manned mission, the United States is worried that it may be left behind when it comes to space-related endeavors.

China initially launched its Tiangong 1 prototype space station module in September 2011 and linked its Shenzhou 8 spacecraft to it in November. Earlier this month, China completed its first manned mission to Tiangong 1 using its Shenzhou 9 spacecraft, which contained the country's first female astronaut.

With so many firsts under China's belt, the U.S. is getting a little worried. Some scientists, such as lunar geologist Paul Spudis say that China could renounce the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which states that no one can claim national sovereignty in space. Spudis believes that potential resources on the moon, such as water, could tempt the country into renouncing the treaty.

There are also worries about the U.S. government's space program. While the U.S. has the private sector (SpaceX) taking care of space-related business for now, there are concerns regarding the private sector's ability to uphold the American space effort without the government's support. The U.S.' funding for the space program has been quite low, even to the point where NASA urged Congress to provide the full $850 million for commercial crew vehicle development last October.

However, the private sector has made strong contributions so far with SpaceX's Dragon cargo capsule making its first successful trip to the International Space Station (ISS) last month.

Others aren't quite as worried about China's position in the space race. According to Jeff Foust, an aerospace analyst, journalist and publisher, China's space program could potentially face some issues with coordination because it is ran by many different government agencies instead of just one.

Regardless, China is now a member of the space race and the U.S. may be taking the new potential competitor into consideration.

Source: Yahoo News

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By MechanicalTechie on 6/20/2012 8:25:49 PM , Rating: 4
You forget to mention the million+ engineers and scientist that China produces annually, their culture of hard work anddddd their drive to be well educated.

The US is pass its zenith... most care more about fashion and celebrities than education. The majority couldn’t give a damn about politics(which is controlled by special interests groups and big business) nor understand the ramification of what is happening in Washington. The enormous debt alone is a massive burden that will take generations to pay off.

You have to be a naive to think that the Chinese wont dominate the next century and beyond.

By Noya on 6/21/2012 1:34:37 AM , Rating: 2
Perfect summation.

RE: Uncompetitive Policies Will Be Our Downfal
By Strunf on 6/21/2012 7:47:03 AM , Rating: 2
their culture of hard work

Funny I don't see them work more than anyone else once they get out of China...

Anyways Americans (and Europeans) have been enjoying the nice freedom of choice for some time now, if we are not happy with a job we just go find another one, we can be a few months looking for a job while our expenses are still being payed, for most Chinese it doesn't work like that, they have to work for them and for their parents all the time, give it a few decades and more social benefits and they will be no different than anyone else.

The Chinese may or may not dominate the next century, what makes you think that the Chinese will keep being "happy" with their current regime? it wouldn't be the first country to implode due to social unrest.

By AnnihilatorX on 6/21/2012 8:20:32 AM , Rating: 2
quote: their culture of hard work Funny I don't see them work more than anyone else once they get out of China...

You answered your own question. Culture only functions in the place where it lies. I mean, if you move to live in Himalayas would you be able to still preserve your American Culture? Not likely.

By knutjb on 6/21/2012 9:05:47 PM , Rating: 2
The US is pass its zenith... You have to be a naive to think that the Chinese wont dominate the next century and beyond.
I don't entirely agree. China has a government in conflict with ideologies. Caplitalism provided the mass growth. Communism is a polar opposite to Capitalism. One will have to give in. Traditionally those in power try their utmost to keep it. China also has a flaw that troubled the USSR, lack of original ideas.

I do think that if the US doesn't make a right turn away from progressivism we will be just like Europe, an also ran. There is no silver medal in the ranking of countries, only the gold.

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