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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 Seemonkeyscanfly on 3/19/2007 10:36:50 AM , Rating: 2
Actually the US knows of the WMD in Iraq because we supplied them with it. There is no question they where and probably are still there buried somewhere in the thousand of square miles of sand. The WMD we (the US) gave them were in chemical form - small pox and Anthrax. This is commonly given out to countries so their Doctors can study these chemicals. However, unlike other countries, Iraq had no record of where, what, when, how these chemicals were used. Something that is required to do is log these events when the chemicals are issued out for study. I doubt they will ever be found…the people who may know where they are located are probably dead and you would only need a box the size of a shoe box to store enough chemicals to kill millions. So good luck finding that in the middle of the desert.
A better way to get the funds is not look to the past and blame people for mistakes or miss used funds, that's what you do when you elect the people who spend your money. The best way would be for the public to tell elected officials they have to take a 50% pay cut (so some amount of pay cut). We would have plenty of money to fund this program and many others and the Politicians would still be paid to much money.


By Ringold on 3/19/2007 1:33:56 PM , Rating: 2
A few things economic study tells us:
1) Giving pay cuts to politicians increases their proclivity to accept and seek bribes to maintain their lifestyle. Paying them too much lowers this urge. Bribery destroys public confidence in the entire system, whereas too high of pay just makes politicians look like pigs but people still are content enough to follow government rules.. therefore, best to pay them more than they're really worth then have them legislate to the highest bidder all the time.

2) Wages are a rounding error on the federal budget, almost. Social security, welfare programs, medicare, etc, are the bulk of it, casting a shadow over any other budget item. One could double NASA's budget and not impact the overall budget. If cuts need to be made, they'd be best targeted at our massive hand-outs, NOT in discouraging professional, intelligent individuals from seeking public service due to lousy pay.


"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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