Will China's Moon Landing Restart the Space Race in a Good Way?

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit hopes so. He writes in USA Today:

The 1960s space race between the United States and the old Soviet Union saw rapid progress in space technology. We went from being unable to put people in Earth orbit, to landing men on the moon and returning them safely to earth, repeatedly, in less than a decade. It happened so fast because each nation was afraid the other would get there first.

The 1967 Outer Space Treaty, in fact, was basically a deal to throw the contest out. Each nation was more afraid of being beaten than it was, really, anxious to win itself. As soon as the ink on the treaty was dry, space efforts began to dry up, too. That's one reason why no one has had a soft landing on the moon in almost 40 years -- and why it's been 41 years almost to the day since the last man, astronaut Eugene Cernan, stood on the moon.

If, like me, you'd like to see a gold rush on the moon -- or, at least, a Helium-3 rush -- then a Chinese claim might be just the thing to get it started.

Read the whole thing.

Reason on Space.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    We should have nuked that place when we had the chance. (You can guess which I mean if you want.)

  • Dweebston||

    The UK?

  • UnCivilServant||

    The PRK?

  • Doctor Whom||

    Detroit! But then, how could anyone tell?

  • Mongo||

    Hey, a nuke comment! I was hoping for some sort of segue to my link:


    You can target anyplace using various payloads and delivery devices. It shows blast radius and fallout (if any) plus casualties!

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Washington DC?

  • Floridian||

    I love space but do we really need an excuse to spend more tax payer dollars? If there is value in space then a private entity will put up the capital to exploit those resources. Otherwise it is a nationalistic circle jerk.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I love space, which is exactly why I want to stop spend tax payer dollars on it.

  • BardMetal||

    Compared to everything else the government spends money on, I'm surprised NASA would even show up on that radar.

    At least with space we get something to show for it, unlike the trillions wasted on "shovel ready" jobs in the stimulus.

    and it's a peaceful "nationalistic circle jerk" unlike say spending billions of dollars maintaining a military presence in Europe and Japan, so we can show the Russians and Chinese who has the biggest dick.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Also, sometimes you need someone really stupid to jump the first hurdle into a new frontier where it makes no economic sense, just to see what's there before people even knows if there's anything to exploit. Government is useful for doing really stupid things.

  • Floridian||

    and it's a peaceful "nationalistic circle jerk" unlike say spending billions of dollars maintaining a military presence in Europe and Japan, so we can show the Russians and Chinese who has the biggest dick.

    Except I don't consider peaceful since the funds have to be taken by force. Want to see if the public at large wants a space race? Get a kick starter page together and we will see how much appetite the public has for throwing money into space.

  • 2ndClassProle||

    This would be awesome. Lets send a free market rover.

    How much does it cost for Space X to get us in LEO. Have Lockheed or Boeing make the vehicle and lander, and we will have a Google Atlas robot walk on the moon.

  • Loki||

    Not quite the same thing as a Kickstarter, but close.

    Also, here's the Google search results for "private lunar rover." Have fun.

  • Loki||

    I'd love to see another space race. But this time I'd like to it become a race between "The Chinese" (privately funded or governement, I don't really give a shit since it wouldn't be my tax dollars at work in the latter case) and Spacex, Planetary Resources, Bigelow Aerospace, Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada, etc.

    I doubt the established aerospace giants like Lockheed Martin or Boeing would get involved since they're too busy gorging themselves at the government trough, but if they do, more power to them (of course I'm sure if they got into the mix they would make sure to use their crony contacts in the government to rig the game in their favor).

  • tarran||

    Will China's Moon Landing Restart the Space Race in a Good Way?

    No. When nation states compete to do great things, it's not a good thing.

  • DJF||

    One huge problem with the US involvement in the last space race was that it was all about the race, not on building anything affordable or with economic benefit. Any idea put forward which was not about getting two people to the moon and back was shelved

    The same thing is happening today with NASA’s SLS launcher and Orion capsule. It is just a super Saturn V launcher and Apollo capsule built with no thought about reducing cost so that it can have an economic benefit. Each launch will be so expensive that few launches could occur and the most it can do is grab a few rocks from the moon, asteroids and maybe Mars.

    Also UFO was a far better show then Space 1999 and it had moon girls with purple hair.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Also UFO was a far better show then Space 1999 and it had moon girls with purple hair.

    Have you met Pro Lib?

  • Doctor Whom||

    ST:TOS set a high bar in terms of space hair.

  • Radioactive||

    This should really be independently verified and should not be considered true just because the PRC said it happened...remember the fire works during the opening ceremopnies for the olympics...sorta computer generated

  • Zeb||

    I'm sure it already has been.

  • Lord Humungus||

    When I was a youngin', back when MILF was just a misspelling of milk, I thought Barbara Bain was teh hot.

  • Sevo||

    Yes, well, Mr. Humungus, how does that make you feel?

  • Brett L||

    The Moro Islamic Liberation Front gets no respect, and it is one of the oldest continuously operating rebel groups in the world!

  • Killaz||

    Is she the one with the banging set of titties?

  • The Other Kevin||

    When I was a kid I had the Space: 1999 spaceship with action figures. That was a great toy. Completely forgot about it until now.

  • Jon Lester||

    I sold mine for $20 in the early 90's. I wish I'd kept it.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "No, in this case, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part."

  • Medical Physics Guy||

    Yes! Helium mining! A kindred soul! I want in on the ground floor.

  • Jon Lester||

    Catherine Schell also appears in Hammer's "Moon Zero Two," which actually is partially about private prospectors.

  • CE||

    Well, Space 1999 is 15 years too late already, but we've still got 6 years left to get the undersea base set up for SeaLab 2020.

  • RishJoMo||

    China is jsut way too cool for that.



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