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Not only can the Chinese space program make it to the moon, it will get there before the U.S., according to NASA

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin told a House Committee on Science and Technology that the Chinese are likely to be the next nation to reach the moon, even before the United States.  "If they wanted to mount a lunar mission, they could do so," Griffin said.  The Chinese space program also has around 200,000 employees, while NASA has a workforce numbering close to 75,000.

Assuming NASA continues to receive the amount of funding it is currently getting, the space agency will be able to send astronauts back to the moon in 2019 -- an additional "few billion extra" will allow NASA to reach the moon in 2017.  The Chinese government continues to funnel large amounts of money towards the nation's space endeavors.  

Serious budget cuts and issues with the current NASA lunar program were the main reasons cited by NASA.  Bart Gordon, chairman of the U.S. House science committee, recently said that NASA is headed for a "train wreck" if the space organization cannot get the funding that it needs.  
With the pending retirement of the space shuttle in 2010, NASA also needs to finish the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) on time after the shuttle is retired.  "If the CEV is delayed even further, then we will cede leadership in human space flight at a time when Russia and China have such capabilities and India has announced its intention to develop them," Griffin said.

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RE: what?
By Comdrpopnfresh on 3/17/2007 10:45:53 PM , Rating: 0
no doubt we achieved orbit. None what so ever. But lunar orbit? Multiple times? And we cease doing it for over 40 years only to return the initiative when other nations are on the brink of doing it? The fact that with modern computers and technology we continue to fumble things which would be easier than a mission with human lives at stake seriously sets doubts in my mind that men with slide rules and computers with less power than the remote key fob for my car could succeed at the task. And if it was so useless back then, enough to stop, why not let the Chinese have their silly moon rocks?

RE: what?
By doctor sam adams on 3/17/2007 10:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
You assume that relying on computers and technology will necessarily lead to more successful outcomes. To tell you the truth, people don't really know how to use computers to their optimum ability, we're still just figuring them out.

RE: what?
By KaiserCSS on 3/18/2007 12:03:33 AM , Rating: 4

Implementation of fire = about 800,000 years.

Implementation of advanced technology and electronics = about 40 years.

Think of all that is possible due to fire. Cooking your food, making metals of all sorts, heating and powering your homes, propelling your vehicles.

Now think about technology and everything that has been made possible because of it in such a short amount of time. Given the fact that we've barely entered the "modern age", one can only wonder what will be possible hundreds or even thousands of years in the future.

RE: what?
By Samus on 3/18/2007 3:52:41 AM , Rating: 1
right, just look at WWII dogfighters. they achieved precision and accuracy that computers still can't replicate. human's are incredible beings in desperate times.

and we were desperately trying to achieve a landing on the moon, and it's quite obvious we succeeded. How else did an American flag get planted there?

RE: what?
By Tsuwamono on 3/18/2007 5:29:41 PM , Rating: 3
Well alot of conspiracy theorist believe it isnt actually there. Me, i dunno what to think but i do believe the US landed on the moon. i dont really doubt that but its always good to listen to the theorists. They make good points when you talk to the intelligent ones.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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