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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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By piesquared on 3/17/2007 11:05:18 PM , Rating: 2
China is an absolute engineering powerhouse. Always have been, always will be. The list of massive engineering projects underway in China is staggering. When they build or do something, they do it in monumental proportions. For example: The Sutong Bridge, Shanghai Raceway, Three Gorges Damn, the new Olympic construction projects, their monster ship yards, Great Wall of China, etc. The list goes on. They know how to do things big, they have to to support the population. Pretty awesome.

RE: engineering
By mino on 3/18/2007 7:38:23 AM , Rating: 2
Most importantly, chinese people DO care about progress and advance of the mankind.
They are ready for sacrifices and some setbacks will not make them change their course or stop.
This attitude was the single reason for incredible advances of the cold war era.
Just consider the real R&D budget of USSR of those times is estimated at >10% of their GDP !!!
We did incredible things back then.
Mind you, of that USSR GDP, virtual products like software and IP did make less that 1%.
Not like ~40% in the US of today.

We are still riding on the fruits of the cold era research...

RE: engineering
By piesquared on 3/19/2007 1:07:49 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I would rate the efficiency of the Chinese at near %100. From what i've seen there is utmost dedication and pride in the jobs and tasks they do, regardless of what it is. I think the balance of power is shifting very very quickly right before our eyes. And that's by no means a bad thing either. Just new opportunities.

RE: engineering
By EODetroit on 3/19/2007 10:19:06 AM , Rating: 2
China doesn't care about the safety of its workforce however. Its cheaper to allow things to be unsafe and let people die and buy off their relatives, than to run their grand projects in a safe manner. Research any big dam, bridge, mining, or other construction project, and you'll find out they lost many lives due to accidents along the way. In the US that would bankrupt a corporation. In China the government gives the families a stipend and a "sorry about your luck".

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