Sino-Selenic Aspirations • 28 September 2008 • The SnowBlog
I'm not a big fan of the moronic chest-pounding and one-upmanship that goes on between nations. It's used by manipulative politicians to disguise all sorts of unpleasant activities and to wrap them in the flag. But if it results in a space race, instead of an arms race, I'm perhaps a little less disgusted. China seem to be working pretty hard on their space programme. They've got a space station under construction. But if they actually do what they're claiming and put a crew of Chinese astronauts on the moon sometime in the next ten years I can't help thinking it will focus a lot of attention on space exploration once again. And unlike wars in the Middle East and bail-outs of predatory financial institutions, space exploration is a waste of money I can really approve of. Firstly, it's good old-fashioned Keynesian employment. It might be made-up work, but it's made-up work developing new technologies and pioneering new forms of engineering. Plus it doesn't (if done right) involve killing anyone. And it's an endeavour that's uniquely modern. When we're looking around for signs of human progress, coordinating missions to other celestial bodies fits nicely. So well done China; let's hope the world notices what you're up to and gets competitive. To the stars!