Welcome to the Brave New World, Part II

Wanna know why I am, and always have been, and always will be, a big proponent of the US space program? Here’s the reason. The world’s oldest civilization and largest Communist, anti-American government just went to space. And now wants to develop space. And can use what is essentially slave labor to do it on the cheap.

Sputnik was a wee bit before my time, but the old threat is the new threat, and real.

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3 responses to “Welcome to the Brave New World, Part II”

  1. Holly Lisle Avatar
    Holly Lisle

    Quote from someone with some experience in the issue who has given me the permission to post this so long as the writer remains anonymous:


    Because of the irons I’m juggling (including giving some technical assistance to the Government of China on some environmental problems — something I consider a legitimate support to China which we have both a moral obligation and a treaty requirement to provide; while, at the same time, working on involvement in US civilian and non-civilian space efforts), I’m hesitant to speak authoritatively on the web page on this issue.

    During my one trip to Bejing back while marketing on this project in ’99, I was scared stiff because of the tightrope I’ve been walking between legitimate support and the possibility of brain picking.  (And
    even at that, I’ve had to deal with Customs inquiries ever since).

    I’m frankly torn between the "Ah, come on, you’re being paranoid" and the "OMG OMG OMG what ARE we going to do!" mindsets on this.

    What does appear clear is:

    (a) China is in space to stay;

    (b) they won’t let a single tragic accident shut their program down for 18 months or longer, and will probably NOT create the bureaucratic morasse which binds NASA — since their bureaucrats will not face a slew of nasty E-mails or forced retirement, but time in the gulag if they’re lucky;

    (c) their progress will be slow, but persistent.  Expect a progressive series of launches — longer durations, more crew — with the launch of a Skylab like module within 3 – 7 years followed by an entry level space station in about 10 years.

    (d) they HAVE read Ben Bova on lunar resource exploitation…

    I see ways that this can get very scary, but I DO hope I’m being paranoid…


  2. matt Avatar

    it’s funny: they might be the first country to reach mars. Considering their ability to sacrifice life for military or political gain, i’m betting they have a human being walk mars first.

    as much as i want space travel to be safe as possible, there is a certain amount of risk involved, espcially when doing something new. the first flight to the moon had problems as well, but there were brave astronauts that were willing to risk it.

    mars will be the same way. unless, we’re willing to take some risks, we’ll fall way behind.

  3. Holly Lisle Avatar
    Holly Lisle

    And more on this — Thanks, Jim.

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