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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: It's all about safety
By oTAL on 3/20/2007 11:31:47 AM , Rating: 2
As I said those were debatable points and I do not believe them all like I presented them. I think the solution is somewhere in between, but I'd like to add that I'd prefer 1000x to be born in socialist Europe than to be given life in the casino economy of the USA. Your winner-takes-it-all economy leads to many social injustices and although every point you made were correct for adult people you need to understand that 99.9% of children lack the maturity to do the hard choices you think are necessary in the moment they are most necessary - growing up! I'm a very successful, disciplined person with a few achievements in my quarter century life, but I had it pretty easy and I'm really not sure if I would've gone this far without a few pushes along the way. Life can be pretty shitty sometimes and I know a few bad cases of that... a BRILLIANT friend of mine (she was the best student in an entire school and she hardly lay a finger on books) has gone to the point of trying suicide, and a part of that was indirect consequence of economic troubles caused by a sour parents divorce and a father who should have a space shuttle shoved up his ass.
Shit happens and when there's noone there to catch you should be able to trust society to give you a chance to succeed....
That's what I think happens in Europe. Everyone is given a chance. In the US, if you're born in the hood, poor, with drugs, violence, and unmotivated teachers in your school, a few friends in jail and every statistics saying you'll probably join them eventually... well... that makes it easier for a smart person to do stupid stuff.
Not everyone is an alpha! Some people need to be lead, and if you can't lead them in a right path then someone will surely guide them through the wrong one.

RE: It's all about safety
By Ringold on 3/20/2007 10:07:35 PM , Rating: 1
Oh, stop whining. I hear excuses that amount to "My mommy didn't breast feed me, I need a lifetime of welfare because I'm unmotivated and have turned to pot and booze" all the time. As said above, it's an issue of motivation and personal responsibility. Anybody that wants to succeed enough WILL succeed. Life in the USA is not a "casino economy"; our unemployment is much lower than in Europe, for example, but people here get out of life what they want -- unless they're lazy, in which case, we do indeed have social safety nets. They suck just enough, though, that I plan on working in life -- if I lived in socialist Europe, my game plan would be to get a job, become unemployed, and milk the benefits for as much as I could before rinsing and repeating. Why work when people like you are paying taxes and are willing to buy my sap story about "stress" and pay me to do "job training" or some such thing?

I don't think you even live in the US, or have ever been here. Everyone is given a chance here. Read the above -- I've seen many people "born in the hood" end up making more money than I do. The only people here that don't believe that are the ones full of excuses -- or making their livings from those making excuses, such as the disciples of Martin Luther King who aren't 1/5th the man.

And yes, not everyone is an alpha. Some people need to be lead. On their knees. Smiling, as the government tells them what they can't eat, drive, products to buy, services to consume, websites to visit, books to read or music listen to.

All of which, for America, would represent quite a meteoric fall from "live free or die."

And Europe is partly realizing the error of their ways as well. Sarkozy, for example; "And the main consequence of preventing the most dynamic members of society from getting rich is to make everyone else poor". A generalization, but the last 60 years bear absolute evidence of that. Of course, Sarkozy won't get elected, because people hate to be told that they're the problem. It's a start, though.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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