Finally, been waiting for another space race
My money is on China.
The Chinese and Americans competing to colonize the solar system. Who would have thought Firefly was a documentary?
Didn't the US and China form a union or something though in Firefly?
My understanding is that it is heavily implied that there was a catastrophic failure on "Earth that was". So they had to team up.
Firefly was developed from a history book from the future . I can attest to this since I am a time traveler
You know how I know you're lying? A time traveler wouldn't go back in time to the middle of a pandemic.
Didn't the US and China form a union or something though in Firefly?
Yes, they effectively quit being enemies as the human race became a multi planet species.
Ok, time to rewatch firefly...
Gonna be interesting to see. China has the edge on raw industrial output and available cash, the US has more assets financially, more experience making spacecraft, and the only agency on Earth that has put humans on another body. Both start on a comparable technological field (unlike the Cold War version where the USSR had a serious head start on the tech, but lacked the sheer amounts of money and industry the US could throw at the problem).
Also, last space race, the US was at the height of its global power and toward the end of a golden age of post-WW2 wealth. This time, China is a rising superpower while the US is either declining or sputtering erratically as its people fight over the steering wheel. Without a focusing martyr like Kennedy, I suspect the US wouldn’t rally to such a race enough to match the singular focus of the Chinese leadership.
NASA and the US Space industry invest WAYYYYYY more than China does. It's not even a race. The only advantage China may have is its political determination and a relatively younger team of scientists and engineers.
The only advantage China may have is its political determination and a relatively younger team of scientists and engineers.
That is a very strong advantage though, don’t underestimate that.
“We choose to go to the moon, and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard”. - JFK
When it comes to space exploration, determination is just as core of a component as any rocket engine.
Not just determination, but completely unencumbered by time wasting political decision-making, getting derailed by fights over budget, having one technology canceled so a politician can direct funds elsewhere. When China makes a decision, it is essentially done. When America makes a decision, everyone has to be on edge every election cycle.
having one technology canceled so a politician can direct funds elsewhere.
the US's growing greed has hindered so much progress in this way.
We choose to go to the moon, and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard piss off the Russians
I mean if you think the US going to the moon pissed off the Russians I wonder how pissed off the US was learning that the USSR put the first satellite, man, woman, and space station in orbit, among other achievements.
While the achievements you name are typically the most-remembered, the USSR’s space program was first to achieve a lot more notable successes:
Over its 38-year history, the Soviet program achieved:
The first intercontinental ballistic missile (R-7)
First satellite (Sputnik 1)
First animal in Earth orbit (the dog Laika on Sputnik 2)
First human in space and Earth orbit (Yuri Gagarin on Vostok 1)
First woman in space and Earth orbit (Valentina Tereshkova on Vostok 6)
First spacewalk (Alexei Leonov on Voskhod 2)
First Moon impact (Luna 2)
First image of the far side of the Moon (Luna 3) and uncrewed lunar soft landing (Luna 9)
First space rover (Lunokhod 1)
First sample of lunar soil automatically extracted and brought to Earth (Luna 16)
First space station (Salyut 1)
Further notable records included the first interplanetary probes: Venera 1 and Mars 1 to fly by Venus and Mars, respectively, Venera 3 and Mars 2 to impact the respective planet surface, and Venera 7 and Mars 3 to make soft landings on these planets.
If you go by the headlines and news broadcasts of the day, the US was incredibly pissed about the USSR’s space program achieving so many ‘firsts’. Especially Sputnik and Yuri Gagarin’s respective Earth-orbits.
Arguably, the US might not have landed astronauts on the moon as soon as it did, were it not for the USSR’s program racking up so many ‘firsts’ in the Space Race’s early years.
第一次太空行走(上升2号上的阿列克谢 · 列昂诺夫)
If determination was more a factor of success than money and knowledge, the USSR would have been first on the moon.
America can’t do things that are hard anymore.
I'm confident Space-X is as determined if not more so than Chinese leaders.
And at the moment they are printing cash doing it, with at least a decade head start.
China owns Africa now.
Africa is emerging as a huge telecommunications market. Africa has abundant resources. China is builds African infrastructure. Same thing Spanish, English, and Americans have done in the past.
It's no contest. I'm calling it now. China wins hands down. The US can't even keep its infrastructure from falling apart. It's not racing anywhere.
With the global economy ran by a bunch of individualistic nations and heavily based on rampant consumerism? Getting the fuck out of the doomed planet is frankly the more reliable option
I'm currently reading the Three Body Problem trilogy.
There are several times where the author puts forth the idea that humans that go into deep space cease to be humans the same as us. Since they are completely separated from Earth with no way to return and in order to survive must abandon all normal rules of human civilization.
The moon doesn't quite come to that level, but over time I can see how the species might diverge.
Just finished that trilogy, favourite thing I ever read.
I'm in the middle of book three, so not quite done yet. It's such a different perspective versus a lot of scifi.
I think throughout they show how the UN/Earth views everyone else as expendable for them. And really how each group was in it for themselves.
So in the Three Body Problem some ships are far outside the solar system with no plans to return. They recognized that they no longer felt a part of humanity, or at least not the same type of humans, and went from there.
Some interesting ideas in that series.
Nothing to add other than holy fuck that Battle of Darkness. Great series.
If we one day have permanent settlements there. People born there who have never been to earth. Why would you care about anything back 'home'? And then from there as we push further out etc.
Why would you care about anything back 'home'?
Why do people today care about traveling anywhere on earth?
Why did humans ever care about going anywhere else than where they are today?
200 years ago, most people never even left the town they were born in. Such a life is unthinkable today.
People in the past regularly traveled for months - if not years - on sea just to see some distant place. Going from Earth to Mars or from Mars to Earth literally takes less time than it took to sail from England to China.
Just think about one of the most commonly sailed routes in history:
To get tea from China, you would have to sail 5 months from England... and then another 5 months back from China to England. If you were really fast and put everything you had on speed, you could make the journey in 99 days.
Think about that. Seriously. Let it sink in how ridiculously long that is.
Then think about the fact that the journey was significantly more arduous than going on a rocket to Mars with people having to work hard to keep the ship intact, risking their life every time there's a storm, getting sick with no modern medicine, and being attacked by pirates.
Then keep in mind that people back then had no means of telecommunication and also no modern entertainment.
If you are born on Mars in the 22nd century, you will be more connected to earth than China was to England less than 400 years before your time.
Earth will always be the birthplace of humanity and no matter where humans go, as long as they remember and care about their history, humans will always care about earth.
Oh man I just finished Death's End and my brain is goop and my heart is shattered.
Easily one of the best sci-fi series I've ever read.
Longest break I took from reading was after finishing the series. I was finished so amazed that I found little interest in others books for a couple of months. Even almost a year later there are times that I'll wistfully play out some of the scenes in my mind, and trying to imagine how they'd look.
I'm still in the middle of Death's End. Been loving this series, it's such a deviation from most scifi. I found referring to A Brief History of Time several times.
Just finished it myself. Another recurring theme is that when governments decide they must invest in huge technological projects--to save humanity--there are resource shortages for ordinary people. Is China or the US ready to enforce even lower standards of living for their population in order to win a space race? Interesting question.
We already diverged just by living in different countries
We've been theorizing a sky ladder for over 100 years now. It's not the craziest idea
It's pretty far off, and may never come to fruition, yes. I think the bigger point is that China is serious about space exploration and the West needs to wake up.
Wake up from what? Space exploration is a good thing.
West needs to wake up.
SpaceX is building a Starship. 😉
How long do you think the West has been sleeping
Neither is having their own manned station up within 10 years or doing a robotic moon rock return mission within 5 years or having a Mars orbiter and rover in the same mission in 5 years, yet all of those were accomplished.
Yeah, but you can't just casially ignore physics and material tensile strength.
I'd love to be prven wrong, but unless they develop a new material that is both lightweight, uberstrong, and capable of taking impacts from orbital debris without a loss of strength, it just isnt possible.
The Soviets did a lunar sample return in 1970 when computers still had vacuum tubes. Really aside from the Mars rover there is nothing China has done that the Soviets didn't already accomplish and they haven't existed for 30 years.
You would expect some advancement just given where computers and tech in general has progressed to today
You're downplaying the science behind it. No one had ever done a completely remote moon rock sample retrieval from the far side of the moon that required a repeater satellite to be positioned in a unique halo orbit. And while the Russian Luna 16 brought back mere grams, the Chang'e 5 brought back a whopping 3.8 lb of samples.
Not particularly, the technology to do what China has done has existed for decades. They simply haven't been done because there was no funding/insufficient desire to do it. When the Soviet Union and the US had its space race, most of the technology didn't even exist yet and both sides pioneered a lot of new technology to do what they did.
I mean, great that China did it. And it's impressive that they've done it largely on their own due to the restrictions on space tech transfer to China. But they haven't done anything really groundbreaking yet.
L2 Earth-moon Lagrange point halo orbit was completely theoretical until China was the first to attempt it.
I live in a city that used to churn out NASA engineers and some of the best engineers in the world, the local economy and education system was built on a solid bedrock of Union labor and American manufacturing..
Unfortunately that has not been the case since the 70's because decades of Neoliberalism has destroyed my city. Now our largest factories are owned by the Japanese. The Japanese thought they were getting a sweet deal with a skilled cheap labor force and tax breaks, little did they know the effects of Neoliberalism destroyed my city over a decade before they got here and so it takes 2-3 American workers to do what it takes 1 Japanese worker to do in Japan because the people here are unskilled, undisciplined, and uneducated. And not so surprisingly, the decline also decimated the power of unions and union membership in my city, and this city now has one of the lowest average incomes and highest crime rates in the US, and there's no viable long term solutions to turn things around at the local, state, or federal level.
The US is in a state of decline because our political and economic systems are broken, our political leaders are incompetent and corrupt, and our business leaders are entitled, selfish, and arrogant.
In fact, Japan is not well, Japan must keep buying U.S. Treasuries as a way to suppress the inflation caused by U.S. domestic money. Japan was stabbed by the U.S. on the Plaza Accord, and since then the whole country's economy has come to a standstill. The West has been playing the game of making money lying down by dividing other countries into resource countries, cheap labor countries, and financially harvestable countries, and harvesting all countries except the West through finance. Western governments and capitalists have always thought they were smart - the dirty work can be left to other countries, as well as through the financial can be harvested, why not do it? But in reality Western governments lack long-term planning and the electoral system has turned the country into a game to please the people instead of pursuing real progress. As Kissinger recently said, "It's not China's problem, it's our problem.
Ever since we started gutting our manufacturing and sending it to China. So we send them hard currency in exchange for cheap goods. They in turn take the money and expand their military. All the while sending their brightest students to University in the West getting scholarships to learn, and then return to China after we trained them.
Why doesn't the West want to continue to grow? Because it doesn't need to anymore, and the West can make money lying down by classifying other countries as resource countries, cheap labor countries, and financially harvestable countries. But when one doesn't work hard, one is caught up by countries that do, and so are the countries. That's why Kissinger recently said, "This is our own problem, not China's." Remember, no one is forcing the West to sleep, the West is sleeping on its own.
return to China after we trained them
Honestly a big part of that was kind of a own-goal by the West. I think a lot of international students would have loved to stay in the West for work, but there weren't enough visas for skilled labor (which college grads would have been)
So many bright graduates went back to their home countries and started companies, and over the years created more employment opportunities
The US banned NASA from cooperating with the Chinese in 2011. That’s why the Chinese are coming up with their own stuff - space station, Mars rover, etc.
Yes, so unless we are cooperating we will be fighting each other in space.
China has no intention of militarising space. China and Russia are constantly proposing international treaties to reduce militarisation of space and the US keeps vetoing it. It is America that is pushing space war not China or Russia
Not just in space but also on earth.
I have a feeling Military and Space budgets may have some overlap in the future
We can't even maintain our basic infrastructure here in Earth.
We were going to fix the road but someone said taxes so half a building fell down instead
The Moon base would make more sense
Yes, that is a more logical first step. I think Mars sounds more sexy so it gets the public engaged.
If china comes up with an system that can get colonists to mars and keep them alive, while provisioning colonists with tools for mining, farming, exploration, and construction, they could make serious inroads. All you need is one good road, shelter, and food production.
Yep, the first one there has many advantages. In my opinion, China is more willing to make sacrifices to get there first, whereas the West is more likely to hem and haw to make sure everything is safe or perfect and then come in second place, or third.
It's not even about whether things are safe or perfect, not anymore. No politician wants to allocate money for space exploration anymore. China has money to spare for all sorts of investments, space just happens to be one of them.
Yes that is another angle. I feel like they do have some advantage in that sense. They can just try a bunch of different things and then pick what works.
Progress leads to innovation and can invalidate old business models, I won’t speak for the entirety of the west, but in the US it is clear they rather freeze progress indefinitely in exchange for absolute economic control. The rich want your taxes, your labour, and your money for goods and services. They want to decide what good and services you can get and at what price and quality, without any standards or considerations.
I think that the myth of western safety is always a strange one. in the first space race, more astronauts than cosmonauts died.
the stereotype of soviet/Chinese brute force method vs the west's accurate calculations is also a huge myth. during the space race the Soviet couldn't build rockets large enough to propel a shuttle so had to make a delicate and precise system to light multiple smaller thrusters simultaneously.
苏联/中国“蛮力”方法 vs 西方“精确”计算，这样的刻板印象，也是一个巨大的谣言。在太空竞赛期间，苏联无法制造足够大的火箭来推动航天飞机，所以不得不制造一个精密而精确的系统，来同时点燃多个较小的推进器。
China is more willing to make sacrifices to get there first, whereas the West is more likely to hem and haw to make sure everything is safe or perfect and then come in second place, or third.
Historically that's what (gambling human lives) the west did to win the moon race
West is capitalist and individualistic at its core, so these fundamental basis will prevail and override any ideological constructs built on top.
The West doesn't give a shit about human life while China considers the right to life paramount. Just look at China's track record with Covid 19 and compare.
The West makes more Sacrifices yet achieves less. That's due to incompetent leadership produced by the anti-democratic capitalist system we refer to as "liberal democracy".
China's space program has far less causalities than the US so far to get to the point is had, so I am am not sure what you mean by safety. They're taking far less risks than the Apollo program ever did.
But yes, China - without two-party politicians - can consistently fund this program. Look at 'back to the moon' thing in US. Vote in by every republican and cancelled by every democrat in the last 20 years...
Good job China. I don't care who gets us into space, just get us there.
Wouldn’t we, as a species, benefit more if these two super powers joined forces versus competing with each other?
Makes too much sense.
No we’d rather manufacture concern for a new Cold War while wasting trillions in the Middle East looking for WMD
This is right out of science fiction.
You have to admire their ambition.
Why is everyone so stoked on space? Who gives a shit? Living on Mars is 100% worse than anywhere on earth. We can already send military weapons into orbit if we wanted for tactical advantage. The cost of any precious material on Mars would likely never be worth the cost of getting there and back.
Im totally pro China wasting their money, so yeah let’s do it!
They understand “Red planet” literally
They just landed their first rover on Mars and haven’t even put somebody on the moon yet. This sounds… hyperbolic. I wouldn’t underestimate China though.
The New Space Age will absolutely result in another world war.
For a country claiming to be a “developing country” in need of foreign aid and assistance they sure have a lot of money to spend on space.
Hopefully this sparks another space race. As a society, our space exploration has really stagnated. Some good old fashioned competition could hopefully fix this. I just hope this is a space race the US can win.
This is awesome news. This now guarantees a space race between the US and China with all of the technological benefits and discoveries that comes with it.
Yet all I see here is endless bitterness and fear because it's China instead of the US doing it. Get over yourselves.
I say let them. Let them make all the expensive research and mistakes, and then we copy their tech when it finally works.
Seems like that would be fair, after all we've let them copy our tech.
About fucking time someone did it. Even if it gives China more Resources, building basic Infrastructure and Bases in Space now will be vital to Human Survival in the future.
Hopefully this gets us to get our act in gear. Letting China get people on Mars first would be a national embarrassment for us.
Honestly I have greater hope for China colonizing space than the US. The us is at the mercy of regime changes and public opinion.
I would not go to Mars on a spaceship built in China.
wonder where they got all that tech from
to be fair, the Chinese have much more majestic artistry in their architecture compared to the US.
Can we uh... get someone else's government to run the place though?
Bro China is trying to make everything China
I wish them luck but they can't build a commercial airliner without western help yet (Comac) and they still rely heavily on Russian tech for military.
🤡 What a waste of time and money. How bout find a way to stop burning coal first?
The moon is the logical place. I think Mars is to get people excited, but the Moon needs to be the immediate focus. One step at a time...
Will it be an "everybody is welcome" kind of place?
Don’t think the US will be invited. After all the US banned NASA from working with China. But other space agencies frequently work with China, so probably so.
Signs point to no
You can blame NASA for not letting China in. They were declined and started their own thing instead.
A new space race between the US vs China will be interesting. I think China may win, the capacity to manufacture 1/3 of planet Earth's stuff gives them a considerable advantage.
US wasted its lead in the space race by basically doing nothing for 50 yrs anyway.
And they deserve to lose by squandering trillions in pointless wars in the Middle East. Now their crippling debt will bite them in a few years whilst China surges ahead.