During a chat with the Sentinel several weeks ago, Feeney said he heard some interesting details from the retired three-star general who runs Jiuquan. Among them: China is working on a larger version of the Long March rocket they will use for future manned missions. ... And China plans to send a number of robotic probes to the moon, including a lunar rover and a sample return mission.(link)
One wonders if the rhetoric surrounding Chinese plans for the Moon has an ayota of will-happeness. Yikes, I think I just made up a word. Oh well we're going with it.
You can't help but getting all tingly about the prospects of another space race. Tingly and mildly painfully scared. Scared because we have two states seething to go on a billion dollar spending spree for what... National Pride? If it's just pride all will end up with an extra couple flags planted into the ground. That's the worst case scenario. The best case scenario is that the end result of another space race is a colony or two on that gray rock in space.
Precedents are bountifull. Afterall it was governments that colonized North America. The state came in, and brought people along with it. And they also tried to bring a whole bunch of problems along with. Thankfully that wasn't entirely successfull.
But now here we are looking at the prospect of two spacefaring nations getting ready to take the great plunge by the looks of it. Some people are no doubt giddy about all this. But I'm untrusting.
Think of it this way. China or America will decide the future of a new frontier. Which one will win? History doesn't always play out the way we think it.