China is seriously working on manned space voyages
Posted 14 December 2013 - 03:59 PM
All this is why I'm looking forward to companies like SpaceX and others to take the lead.
Posted 14 December 2013 - 05:12 PM
I know how diversion works, I was a professional victim of it for many years.
As you can tell from the other thread, I'm a big fan of SpaceX and privatized space commerce myself. But they don't have the same mandate that NASA does, and they can't do the things that NASA is mandated to do. NASA, I think, will always have to take the lead.
The only reason SpaceX is doing what it's doing is because Elon Musk is a mad genius. Most private companies will not be willing to take that same level of risk. NASA, in my perfect fantasy world, should be the one taking the risks and breaking new ground. That's what can justify their higher costs.
And finally -- sorry, my bad -- this thread should be about China's space program, which is very impressive. I'll try to stick to that from here on out.
Posted 14 December 2013 - 05:41 PM
[i]"China is beefing up their manned space program, to include voyages to the moon and Mars.
Here are some details:
Questions for discussion:
Shouldn't the U.S. being doing likewise?
Why isn't the U.S. doing likewise?"
Posted 14 December 2013 - 07:24 PM
I do think the US should be conducting an integrated manned + robotic program of systematic exploration. I also think we should do it in partnership with the EU, with Russia, India, South Korea, and Japan. (And at some point, China too).
As for politics, I think such partnerships themselves, and our contributions to them, should be matters of national pride. And to further the pipe dream, I think we should not only fund our own share adequately, but encourage those other partners to hold up their ends.
We aren't doing any of that, and about all I can hope for is that China's success may trigger some sort of national shame that we aren't.
For that reason, and simply because I want to see knowledge progress, I applaud China's efforts.
Posted 14 December 2013 - 11:48 PM
Also, the Chinese government remains essentially a dictatorship. If they decided the country should go to Mars, the citizenry would have no say in the matter: China would go to Mars.
BTW, I think China's government is doing this now in part to rub it in our faces. If we could convince the politicians of that, we might have a shot to increase NASA funding.
Posted 16 December 2013 - 04:10 AM
Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:41 AM
The fact is we simply don't know what, if any, benefits to humankind would eventually come to fruition should we further our space program.
I'm not even going to start in on a list of human endeavors, considered even folly at the time, that went on to have "value," monetary and otherwise.
We have no idea what the ultimate "destiny" of our species may be. We went from the Wright Brothers' almost laughable flying machine, through the Saturn V behemoth and the Space Shuttle in one human lifetime!
Who's to say what the future holds?