U.S. Rethinks Possible Competition with China in Space
June 20, 2012 6:01 PM
comment(s) - last by
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.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Crackpot scientist...
6/20/2012 11:07:26 PM
Some companies are starting to disagree with you guys about the time frame for exploiting the moon.
Bigelow Aero too has plans, pending affordable launch technologies, to assemble a station at a Lagrange point and lower it to the lunar surface, and bury it under a little regolith for radiation shielding. His idea wasn't to mine or anything, but rather lab space for rent and, primarily, the first off-world hotel.
What's that quote about something happening 50 years after people stop laughing? I think 2012 was the year people stopped laughing at commercial space flight. Mining the moon by 2062 then? Sounds reasonable to me.
As for that treaty, yeah, it's BS. America might uphold it because environmentalists feel like we shouldn't extend our capitalist blight one millimeter past our own atmosphere (and deep down, humanity is a blight on the universe, best contained and stamped out here), but as soon as someone figures out how to make a buck from the moon it'll get trashed. Same deal with the Antartic treaty; make it cost effective to drill for oil there, and someone will go do it. For now it's just too cold and hostile.
RE: Crackpot scientist...
6/21/2012 3:52:00 PM
They are also looking into using those inflatable space station units to link together and make a deep space vehicle by placing them together with something like the Falcon rocket motor. They really do have some interesting ideas and it is amazing how even though they have actually placed test modules into orbit you never hear about them that much.
"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
China Completes First Manned Space Docking, Sends First Female Astronaut
June 18, 2012, 6:21 PM
SpaceX's Dragon Reaches Pacific Ocean, Ends Successful ISS Journey
May 31, 2012, 7:33 PM
Show Me The Money: NASA Needs $850 Million for Commercial Crew Vehicle Development
October 21, 2011, 12:00 PM
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information