This week we saw China landing a probe on the surface of the moon, as I type the rover “Jade Rabbit” is moving over what has been deemed very interesting young lava flows, between one and two and a half billion years old. The United States space administration NASA has been banned by congress from doing business with the Chinese, and China was banned from the International Space Station (ISS) because of human rights violations.
Now China is probably about ten years away to catching the united states in space technology, but with the current US attitude to spending on science the US is probably just giving away it’s lead in space. China is determined to move forward and not make the mistakes the US made in throwing away it’s advantage. Will the US like other Asian nations meet the threat of a China in space with updated funding on technology to counter this new threat. Neil DeGrass Tyson has said many times that it was competing with the Russians that created the Apollo moon missions and very little to do with science. I agree with him on this and wonder when the Chinese missions will give the united states congress the impetus to start a new venture into space.
Will this be a boon for space exploration or a venture to make competing technology for a new space race/ cold war scenario? Personally I don’t see China moving backwards due to more freedoms for some in the nation, and increased personal wealth among it’s citizens bringing better standards of living, it would be hard to move in reverse now.Where it could get messy is with China’s capability to launch satellites and possibly the means to shoot down other countries satellites, it may turn into a technology war. With Hacking of government facilities from China and other nations that don’t like the United States, and the absence of urgency by the United States in securing it’s Government cyber self. And the outsourcing of Government work in the name of expertise but with out proper oversight, leading to leaks AKA Edward Snowden.
My solution is to separate science and government completely and allow China to have access to the ISS, as the Unites States moves away from government funded space exploration and into the private sector. It seems a bit naive to think the Chinese won’t get access to this technology anyway. We could use diplomatic means to allow Non-Chinese to be on their Space missions in the future. I think the Chinese on one hand would prefer we didn’t do this as it might take away a bit of the glory, but it may suite the Wests interests by not creating a new cyber war.
Our Government should take vital systems off the web so that no hack will be easily possible from abroad. The United States government needs to stop outsourcing jobs to the private market place and hire the real people to keep our data secure, this isn’t big government but it’s smart government. There also needs to be a new definition on what is private and what is not in this new mobile technology world. Our antiquated notions of privacy don’t cut it when everything you do is now open to not just who you share it with but their friends and anyone else with access.