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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: The problem is leadership?
By JediJeb on 6/21/2012 3:33:00 PM , Rating: 2
Personally, I don't think that that particular hole in the federal budget is insignificant, but at the same time I can't believe that it accounts for even 10% of overall individual income in the US.

Just some quick searching gave the total personal income of all U.S. citizens last year at around $9-$12 trillion dollars depending on who's numbers you cite. With the deficit in the proposed budget being in the $1.3 trillion range that would make it right at 10% of the total income of all Americans combined. So to cover that deficit this year we would need to have every single American pay 10% more income taxes. If you continue to allow the 47% that don't pay Federal income taxes to be exempt from this, the amount you must raise the taxes for the 53% that do pay Federal income taxes becomes near 30%. I did the full calculation for this very same thing in a reply here a few months ago and it is quite staggering. If you want to stick it to the top 1% then they must pay and extra 50% of their yearly income to cover the costs. If you only apply it to billionaires then you need one thousand and three hundred billionaires in the U.S. to contribute an extra $1billion each in taxes to cover that deficit. Expand that to all billionaires and millionaires and it requires one million three hundred thousand of those folks to contribute an extra $1million in taxes each to cover the cost. Maybe we have 1.3 million millionaire+ people in the U.S. but I doubt we have 1,300 billionaires.

If you want to be "fair" by having the most wealthy people pay the biggest percentage of taxes to make the country work, would it not also be "fair" that those people are allowed to control the country? I for one would not like that to happen, though it seems to be that way now. If every single person pays and equal share, then they should all have an equal say in that happens. Since this country is based on everyone being equal, then shouldn't everyone contribute and equal share to supporting it?

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