Tuesday, January 23, 2007

First China, now this.

If you needed more dramatic proof that it is time the US got back into the space race, here it is:
India's space agency said on Monday an orbiting capsule had been successfully returned to Earth, marking a major step towards the development of a highly-prized manned space program.

The capsule was blasted into space as one of four payloads on January 10 from a launch pad 60 miles north of the southern city of Chennai. It splashed down in the Bay of Bengal 11 days later, boosting plans for a lunar mission in 2008.
India, frickin' India, the world's largest exporter of bad tech support and long hold times, is planning on doing the Neil Armstrong by '08, and something tells me that they (and China) aren't spending a hojillion rupees on this just to leave a flag, a golf ball, and some footprints.

China's recent ASAT test is a reminder that the US military can't be complacent about us having a guaranteed superiority in space anymore, but the US government can prime the pump on the commercial side by getting out of the way; make space lucrative by offering tax incentives to the aerospace companies that are flirting with the commercialization of the high frontier. Like I said before, when I finally get to the space station, I want to be able to order a Big Mac, not just curried rice or kung pao chicken.

8 comments:

Todd said...

Absolutely. The only real reason to do these tests is to test delivery systems. The Chinese and Indians have proven that they can deliver. Just watch out about N. Korea getting their grubby little flying monkey paws on some of that technology.

Kaylee said...

As a nation, we haven't been able to afford a meaningful space colonization/exportion program since the bill for Great Society starting coming due. Once the basics (making sure the ICBMs worked as todd says) were out of the way, there wasn't enough immediate need for the cash outlay - and lots of votes needed' buying.

ugh.

I think you're right though. If the word could come down that the FAAs authority ends at FL800 or so and fed.gov wants folks making cash in the black, it'll take a turn for the better right quick.

rickn8or said...

"China's recent ASAT test is a reminder that the US military can't be complacent about us having a guaranteed superiority in space anymore,"

Thanks, Billy Jeff; thanks, Loral.

Draven said...

well....

Unfortunately, rather than encouraging competition in space, all our government seems to want to do is write as many regulations for it as early as possible. Boeing put a bunch of money into SeaLaunch because they saw it as a way to get around the insane FAA rules controlling where space launches can occur from- essentially, the only booster launch areas the FAA will approve are The Cape and Vandenberg, (Note: Virgin Galactic or wth ever its called does not involve a booster launch...) thus preserving the government/private monopoly on space launches.

Tam said...

Kings of the High Frontier, anyone?

Old Blind Dog said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Memphis Steve said...

With the Golden Grrlz now in charge of Congress I can guarantee they have no clue why this matters or what difference it makes if China is practicing shooting down satellites. No, we're going to reallocate all that military funding for more Grrl Power and other castrating programs designed to make us easier for China to annex without a fight.

Desertrat said...

JFK said, "Go for it," and eight years later we were on the moon. The last time I read anything out of NASA about a repeat visit, they said it would take some fourteen years, what with all our off-the-shelf high-tech knowledge and know-how. Duh.

Some twenty or thirty years back, mas o menos, it was stated by somebody with at least a half-ounce of smarts that any country not getting seriously involved in space would remain or become a second-tier entity in the international chess that Kipling labelled The Great Game.

Jerry Pournelle's website is a good place to expound on this issue...

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