Why not bring China into the cosmic club?

Michael Benson asks the question, and it is a fair enough one. Though my libertarian friends might prefer to see Richard Branson do it all first with Virgin.

Two things, I love this quote from the Branson article:

Andrew Nahum, the senior curator of aeronautics at the Science Museum and visiting professor in vehicle design at the Royal College of Art, said he doubted it would ever become a profitable enterprise.

“You have got to put it in proportion – what you are doing is something more ambitious than Concorde. Even that was too expensive and never made a buck.”

That sounds horridly like so many quotes I have read, people who doubted flight would work, television, courier services…the list goes on. It strikes me as incredibly short sighted.

And the second from the Benson piece:

So wouldn’t it make sense for NASA to cooperate with Russia and China in a meaningful way as it prepares to send humans into the greater solar system for the first time in history? Such an approach would enable a consolidation of the financial burden,and it would free NASA resources to develop a more ambitious and versatile manned deep-space vehicle.There are plenty of good idealistic reasons, too, for being inclusive. A multilateral effort to open the solar system could be a perfect antidote to our Earthly fractiousness.

It’s high time we took some more giant leaps – together.

I agree.

2 thoughts on “Why not bring China into the cosmic club?”

  1. I think you watch too much Star Trek, a chara. In real life, Mr Sulu isn’t quite so helpful.

    Why give an aggressive and corrupt communist dictatorship, with a history of threatening the US and its allies, of passing nuclear and ballistic missile technology on to Pakistan, Serbia, Iran and Iraq lots of advanced technology to upgrade its own small and obsolete force of ICBMs and spy satellites?

    Take a look at
    http://eu.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=6626
    which is the closest I can find to the NY Times magazine story from last year (can you post that if you find it?).

    Controlling space is a strategic necessity, for intelligence gathering, weather forecasting, communications, navigation and weapons targeting. This proposal would be the equivalent of Reagan sharing SDI with the Soviets at the height of the Cold War.

  2. Hmm, I dont agree with the comparison.I dont see the situation now as being similar to the Cold War.

    I think the writer is holding a long term view – and I think that it is inevitable that nations will share resources for populating space – what we do up there is another thing entirely.

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