Space Race

Everyone loves a healthy debate. Post an idea or comment about a current event or issue. Let others post their ideas also. This area is for those who love to explore other points of view.

Moderator: Nicole Marie

Space Race

Postby Haggis@wk » Sun Sep 23, 2007 9:53 am

Will China beat the U.S. back to the Moon?

Recently, during an address on the space economy to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the start of the space age, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin made the assertion that China would beat the United States to the Moon. His remarks follow:

"I personally believe that China will be back on the Moon before we are. I think when that happens, Americans will not like it, but they will just have to not like it. I think we will see, as we have seen with China's introductory manned space flights so far, we will see again that nations look up to other nations that appear to be at the top of the technical pyramid, and they want to do deals with those nations. It's one of the things that made us the world's greatest economic power. So I think we'll be reinstructed in that lesson in the coming years and I hope that Americans will take that instruction positively and react to it by investing in those things that are the leading edge of what's possible."



This leaves me with an overwhelming sense of dread.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
Haggis@wk
1st Chair
 
Posts: 6055
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Home office

Re: Space Race

Postby analog » Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:31 pm

This site was a wakeup to me.

http://www.sinodefence.com/default.asp


They might surpass us in military hardware, too.
Cogito ergo doleo.
analog
2nd Chair
 
Posts: 1573
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2003 12:01 am
Location: arkansas ozarks

Re: Space Race

Postby dai bread » Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:02 pm

Why are you surprised? It's been obvious for years that China would beat Japan at its own game, and almost certainly beat the U.S. & Europe as well. So will India, a bit later on. All either of them has to do is keep on the way they're going.

China has 4x the population of the U.S., 2x that of the E.U., and a land area bigger than either. Japan, with 120 million people, and a small group of islands about the size of NZ, set the Western world on its ear in a generation. China has 10 times that number. So does India, more or less, and they don't have a one-child policy.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
dai bread
1st Chair
 
Posts: 3020
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Cambridge, New Zealand

Re: Space Race

Postby dai bread » Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:03 pm

There is no reason why either India or China should not manufacture military hardware of all descriptions. They have both been nuclear powers for years, and the Chinese, if not the Indians, have a rocketry industry. Their scientists are as good as anybody's.

The really scary aspect to the growth of these 2 nations is that there are powerful people in the U.S. who see war as an answer to problems. Eisenhower's valedictory speech pointed up this possibility 46 years ago, though I think he was more concerned about internal freedoms than international strife.

(It seems this BB won't let me post any more than the old one).
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
dai bread
1st Chair
 
Posts: 3020
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Cambridge, New Zealand

Re: Space Race

Postby BigJon@Work » Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:41 am

But do thay have the economies to sustain the buildup, or will it bankrupt them like it did the Soviet economy.
"I am a 12 foot lizard." GCR Jan 31, 2006
BigJon@Work
2nd Chair
 
Posts: 2252
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 12:01 am
Location: work. Duh!

Re: Space Race

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:57 am

BigJon@Work wrote:But do thay have the economies to sustain the buildup, or will it bankrupt them like it did the Soviet economy.



The cost of building a military in the late 80's to match the Regan buildup was too expensive for the Soviets to match hence to rapid decline in the Soviet Union's demise.

Manned space exploration, by contrast, is relatively inexpensive. The critics of the Apollo program always bemoaned the cost but to put it into contrast the Apollo cost every American about a nickel a day between 1962 - 1973.

The cost of the entire Apollo program: USD $25.4 billion -1969 Dollars ($135-billion in 2007 Dollars). Apollo spacecraft and Saturn rocket costs were about $83-billion 2007 Dollars (Apollo spacecraft cost $28-billion, Saturn I, IB, V costs about $46-billion 2007 dollars)

But the payback was incalculable. As the director said in his speech, the world looks up to the most technically advances countries and that was us and, to a lesser degree, remains us but for how much longer?

While I don't worry that much about China, which is still more of a conglomeration of various bandit states, India does worry me. As I have said before, mankind will return to space to stay, but I suspect English won't be the native language of those intrepid explorers and that saddens me.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
Haggis@wk
1st Chair
 
Posts: 6055
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Home office

Re: Space Race

Postby piqaboo » Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:01 pm

If its India, the language may well be English.
I'm betting on India to pre-empt China in most things, over the next decade or so.

Other than to 'win this race' that I didnt know we were in, why do we want to go BACK to the moon?
Altoid - curiously strong.
piqaboo
1st Chair
 
Posts: 7135
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:01 am
Location: Paradise (So. Cal.)

Re: Space Race

Postby jamiebk » Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:05 pm

piqaboo wrote:Other than to 'win this race' that I didnt know we were in, why do we want to go BACK to the moon?


If all these countries manage to get a "bomb", it may be the only place left to go.
Jamie

"Leave it better than you found it"
jamiebk
1st Chair
 
Posts: 4284
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:01 am
Location: SF Bay Area - Wine Country

Re: Space Race

Postby Shapley » Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:07 pm

Other than to 'win this race' that I didnt know we were in, why do we want to go BACK to the moon?


Well, for one thing, we could auction those golf balls that Neil Armstrong left up there on e-bay for a hefty penny...
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
Shapley
Patron
 
Posts: 15196
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Cape Girardeau, MO

Re: Space Race

Postby barfle » Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:19 pm

piqaboo wrote:Other than to 'win this race' that I didnt know we were in, why do we want to go BACK to the moon?

My personal hope is that this time we actually explore it enough to make it commercially viable. When we went there before, it was more as a stunt than anything else, which is a damned shame. Kennedy had NO vision for what to do with the moon once we got there, and nobody after him cared enough to figure one out.

He even asked "Why go to the moon?" in his speech announcing it as a goal, and to be honest about it, the question never was answered coherently. Charismatically, for sure, but not with any practical end that he was aware of. I'm glad we went, but I wish we had gone with the idea of exploration and colonization. We really had NO direction for space exploration once the Apollo program ended. Maybe we do now, but I've been fooled before.

I honestly have no idea if we will succeed in making a sustainable presence on the moon or not. I know the ISS is not the stuff of dreams (unless you educate yourself to dream that way), and it is most certainly not a commercially viable venture. I do get up early some mornings to watch it fly past, but the romance of space exploration has turned into prayers the rockets don't disintegrate on the way up or down.
--I know what I like--
barfle
1st Chair
 
Posts: 6144
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Springfield, Vahjinyah, USA

Re: Space Race

Postby Shapley » Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:35 pm

That's what we get for letting the government run the show. If we had left it to private enterprise, we'd probably be operating some kind of mining operation up there even now.

It doesn't help that we've entered into intertnational agreements that prevent us from claiming 'ownership' of the moon, or portions thereof. The great explorers of the past would probably never have left home if there was not some promise of wealth and power, and the governments that underwrote them would have been unlikely to do so if there were not some promise of monetary gain. As it is, any discovery of value is liable to be given over as property of the 'international community', whatever that is, reducing the promise of a worthwhile return on the investment. Such is the thinking of the modern world. It is why we see no largescale effort to mine the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

Of course, Russia and Canada are beginning to flex their muscles over the mineral-rich Arctic regions now that the price of oil is making extraction there seem viable. Good thing we got to the Moon first. How often do we have to visit to keep our claim viable?

V/R
Shapley
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
Shapley
Patron
 
Posts: 15196
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Cape Girardeau, MO

Re: Space Race

Postby barfle » Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:56 pm

I'll admit that I live in a place where there is an abundance of wealth, so we have the surpluses to let resources go untapped. I wonder if the untapped resources would help those who need it, or simply further elevate those who are already (like I am) comfortable.

I applaud guys like Bigelow and Yeager, who are making reasonable attempts at commercializing manned space flight. Luna is still a long ways away, and getting there is expensive, so it's going to take someone with very deep pockets to afford the risks of a "dry hole" that far away. I'm pretty sure they won't find any fossil fuels there.
--I know what I like--
barfle
1st Chair
 
Posts: 6144
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Springfield, Vahjinyah, USA

Re: Space Race

Postby Shapley » Mon Sep 24, 2007 3:04 pm

I agree it's a big risk. However, by declaring the Moon 'community property', they've taken away any incentive for about 90% of the population from taking such risk.
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
Shapley
Patron
 
Posts: 15196
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Cape Girardeau, MO

Re: Space Race

Postby dai bread » Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:39 pm

The Moon has to be "community" property. How would you like some enemy gazing down on you from there? Ahmadinejad, for instance, strutting around up there just because he's got enough oil money to pay whoever may be necessary.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
dai bread
1st Chair
 
Posts: 3020
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Cambridge, New Zealand

Re: Space Race

Postby Shapley » Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:52 pm

I'm merely pointing out that, by making it community property, you have removed one of the major incentives for expeditions of exploration. NASA has to rely on the good will of the American people to give them the budget to go there, which they do not seem to be having much luck acquiring. No single European government has the finances and expertise to travel there individually, so they pooled their resources into the European Space Agency and set to it, only they have yet to venture so far as the Moon.

India, like the U.S., is a democracy and thus will have to rely on the willingness of the people to fund them. Currently their population seems more willing than ours to take the gamble, but we'll see as they get closer to making the trip. China and Iran do not have to ask the people, they can simply demand the finances, as the Soviet Union did, and thus are more likely than the U.S. or India to travel there anytime soon.

Keep in mind that Iran is probably not bound by the terms of our agreement to make the Moon community property. If they choose to go there and stake a claim, they will have the benefit of occupation to support their claim. I do not know if the Shah was a signatory to the original agreement, but the goverment of the current Republic of Iran does not hold itself bound by agreements made by the Shah's government in any case.

Similarly, I do not know if China is a signatory nation to that agreement, although I think it likely. That does not mean, however, that they will hold to that agreement if they arrive on the surface and find valuable deposits there waiting to be exploited.

Private enterprise could generate the technology and funds needed for travel, exploration, and colonization, but they need an incentive to do so, and that incentive would be a financial return on their investment dollars. Under the current situation, we would be unable to guarantee the potential of that return, since the 'international community' would be demanding a stake in any resources extracted from that particular piece of community real estate.

V/R
Shapley
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
Shapley
Patron
 
Posts: 15196
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Cape Girardeau, MO

Re: Space Race

Postby barfle » Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:27 am

By making the moon "community property," you state that anyone can go there, but nobody can use it as they see fit. That means, if (hypothetically speaking, of course) an explorer there were to discover a lode of chromium (which is quite useful and in pretty short supply on earth), they would not be allowed to extract the chromium and reap the profits of their venture.

So nobody's going to bother trying. At least no American company. Perhaps some entrepreneur from a country that cares nothing for the international agreement could, but the corporations in the US could not.

Of course, if such a find were to be made, and the US government realized the strategic value of it, the "agreement" would be material for recycling. I could see the government contracting a US corporation to mine it for them, but if it was a strictly private enterprise issue, it's already toast.

And it's not like there's an ecology on Luna to worry about.
--I know what I like--
barfle
1st Chair
 
Posts: 6144
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Springfield, Vahjinyah, USA

Re: Space Race

Postby jamiebk » Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:11 am

barfle wrote:Of course, if such a find were to be made, and the US government realized the strategic value of it, the "agreement" would be material for recycling. I could see the government contracting a US corporation to mine it for them, but if it was a strictly private enterprise issue, it's already toast.

And it's not like there's an ecology on Luna to worry about.


...and then, there are always the United Mine Workers union strikes to worry about. :deal:
Jamie

"Leave it better than you found it"
jamiebk
1st Chair
 
Posts: 4284
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:01 am
Location: SF Bay Area - Wine Country

Re: Space Race

Postby Shapley » Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:45 am

United Mine Workers, [groan]

Mine workers walked off the Moon today, a union spokesman said today, demanding better air and higher wages.

"The cost of living is sky high up here, many of our guys are having to moonlight just to buy groceries, The company has cut back on the Oxygen allowance, Increasing the Amount of Helium in our tanks".

Company representatives deny any change in air quality, but anonymous sources report that the mine workers do appear to be lighter on their toes.
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
Shapley
Patron
 
Posts: 15196
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Cape Girardeau, MO

Re: Space Race

Postby jamiebk » Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:54 am

Shapley wrote:United Mine Workers, [groan]

Mine workers walked off the Moon today, a union spokesman said today, demanding better air and higher wages.

"The cost of living is sky high up here, many of our guys are having to moonlight just to buy groceries, The company has cut back on the Oxygen allowance, Increasing the Amount of Helium in our tanks".

Company representatives deny any change in air quality, but anonymous sources report that the mine workers do appear to be lighter on their toes.

:rotfl: :rotfl: :lol: I suppose they would have to change the name to the United Moon Workers
Jamie

"Leave it better than you found it"
jamiebk
1st Chair
 
Posts: 4284
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:01 am
Location: SF Bay Area - Wine Country

Re: Space Race

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:08 am

:crazy:
You lot would appear to be mocking the UMWA. Beware the UMWA. Them rednecks'll take it personal, they will. They'll Throw Rocks...

I have clearly been reading too much Flint and Heinlein, and this topic is not causing them to collide. I can't decide if the Grantville folk would do well with Mannie's family but I suspect that they might. The resulting story line boggles the mind.
>^..^<
Selma in Sandy Eggo
1st Chair
 
Posts: 6273
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2002 1:01 am
Location: San Diego

Next

Return to The Debate Team

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot]

cron