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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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Never underestimate the power of doubt... hmm
By maven81 on 3/18/2007 10:50:03 AM , Rating: 2
Frankly, I don't think you naysayers actually belong on a site called daily tech. I'm not sure how someone with an interest in science and technology can doubt that they can achieve big things given an enormous budget, a clear goal, and political backing.

Nor do you appear to have common sense... You do know that apollo 11 wasn't the only moon landing right? By apollo 17 there was decent quality color video from the surface. But somehow that gets conveniently ignored hmm... As is the fact that some of the hardware left on the surface kept transmitting a signal, that there are photographs of the earth from the moon, but who needs logic right?

What's funny is that somehow I have a feeling if the russians had done it you would have no doubt in your mind it really happened. Judging by hollywood shlock like "space cowboys" they would put giant NUKULAR weapons there and run then with vacuum tubes you know. Because you're convinced that the us government lies about everything, while "the enemy" will do it just to scare you.

Then there are the unimaginative types that say nasa should have been killed a long time ago, because they aren't doing anything right? Because you slept through the existance of the hubble space telescope (and a whole slew of space observatories, interplanetary spaceprobes, zero g research into biology, materials science, avionics (because you also conveniently forget that it's the National AERONAUTICS and space administration) etc.
And what would you do with that 17 billion that you would gain every year? Spend it on planes that have "L-A-S-E-R-S" to shoot imaginary missiles out of the sky?

The reason they can't get to the moon quickly is obvious... in the 60s it required 20 billion dollars, and the combined efforts of hundreds of thousands of engineers and scientists with the top contractors available building the hardware. That would be the equivalent of what, 60 billion dollars today? with boeing, lockheed etc etc working on it full time?
The reason they can't do anything is that they have been told to do it on a shoestring budget using existing resources. Of course someone who actually dedicates themselves to it like the chinese would do it faster! To put it in geek terms it's like saying "I want you to create a new top of the line processor, oh and you have 10 people and 1000 dollars to do it..."

By PrimarchLion on 3/18/2007 12:37:47 PM , Rating: 2
It's hard to imagine NASA faking the moon landing when you think about the political climate of the time. The USSR was watching the mission closely, in more ways than one. If we would have faked it they would have found out. The results would not have been pleasant for NASA and the USA.

By omyg0t on 3/19/2007 11:19:17 AM , Rating: 2
i'll believe it only if they take me with them on the next trip

ya man they really made it up there, i admit it...

is this what you want to hear? ... satisfied? ...well i'm disgusted.

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