Thursday, October 04, 2007

NASA chief: China will beat us back to the moon

"I personally believe that China will be back on the moon before we are," NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said in a low-key lecture in Washington two weeks ago, marking the space agency's 50th anniversary, still a year away.

"I think when that happens, Americans will not like it. But they will just have to not like it."

Well, of course China will beat us. A space program can't sit on its hands for decades at a time and expect victory to fall into its lap. I'd like to see the US lead the way, but at the same time I'm eager to see humans of any nationality establish a meaningful presence in space. The US had its chance -- and it might still have one -- but this should hardly come as a shock.


Anonymous said...

Maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing. Look at what the "space race" with the old Soviet Union did for the U.S. space program. If China beats us back to the Moon, maybe we'll be inspired to beat China in a "race to Mars."

--W.M. Bear

Anonymous said...

It matters less that the Chinese get there "first", and more that we get there "best", to establish a base, rather than just a short term landin.

After all, nearly 40 years ago, we already were first. "Been there, done that."

Chris said...

Americanada does seem destined to be the Great Britain of the 21st century - a post-imperial society whose resources will be dedicated to the managed reversal of post-war decline, rather than the enthusiastic expansion into new frontiers. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if Britain beats us back to the moon.