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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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RE: Uncompetitive Policies Will Be Our Downfal
By WalksTheWalk on 6/21/2012 11:16:46 AM , Rating: 2
Call me negative, but I don't see that happening since the market is quite global now, and the US doesn't have the internal manufacturing sector we had back then. The US was a world leader in many industries that are now provided by many other countries.

As the global market flattens out across more and more countries, the wealth will spread as well. We are going to need to get much leaner to keep up with the global market and the US government and citizens needs to realize that. Without the government and citizens getting their houses in order financially, the US is going to eventually hit the wall.

By JediJeb on 6/21/2012 2:29:52 PM , Rating: 2
Not just the US, but all developed nations that have decided to push manufacturing out to less developed countries for one reason or another(cheaper labor returns cheaper products, environmental concerns ect.)

A service based economy such as we are moving towards can not be as sustainable as a manufacturing one, since once money becomes short people tend to perform more of those services themselves, while during the same conditions most can not manufacture the things they need so still have to purchase them. Example, times are good and the handyman/light construction business flourishes, times are hard people become versed in Do It Yourself. Places like Lowe's and Home Depot make out good in both types of economies, but the smaller contractor/handyman sees a large drop in business.

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