There are mixed reports coming out of China on their plans to loft a space station by 2020. A Chinese aerospace engineer, Long Lehao, mentioned to journalists that the China National Space Administration was planning to build a "small-scale 20 tonne space workshop". But then space officials at the agency denied the report. So what's going on?
I've grown to suspect we're in the midst of a "stealth space race" with China. It will likely never eclipse the sheer dogged mania that preceded Apollo, but its bearing on the human future could be nothing less than decisive.