Tuesday, October 11, 2005

China Hits Space...Again

And so we all cheer. The Middle Kingdom has stunned foreign observers by sending its second manned spacecraft, the Shenzhou 6, in orbit around our beautiful, blue planet. And so what?
Well, there are many so's:

- China is a major recipient of foreign aid. World Bank projects are involved in many development projects all over the country. So while peasants and minorities are starving in many parts of China, the regime is sending million dollar spacecraft into space? Does that make sense?

-China has the potential to develop a more advanced weapons program in space. This may not be in the near term, but I'm sure the generals at Pentagon are both shaken AND stirred (but not drunk on matinis)

- On a more positive note, this may help start another 'space race' against the US and perhaps the EU (I'm not mentioning Japan, just yet). Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could go back to the sixties and re-live the excitement of reaching new frontiers, and dream while the Star Trek theme is playing in the background?

The next mission, the Shenzhou 7, will carry out the first Chinese extra-vehicle activity. In other words, one of the astronauts will open the hatch to the spacecraft during the mission and take a look around.

Those are just a few thoughts. Perhaps there are more suggestions may want to add...

Have a safe trip back, Shenzhou 6. 一路顺风(Yi Lu Shun Feng).

1 comment:

Ahistoricality said...

With the exception of the aid recipient issue, most of those arguments were raised about the US space program, back when it was just guys going around and around....

Maybe we'll get off our [NASA's] collective .... and do something interesting, now?