Updated: Jan 8, 2022
The ISS is getting old. The US hasn't had their own heavy lift (or even any lift) vehicle for people for years now after the Space Shuttle was retired. We've sent robots to other planets (yay I guess) but haven't sent people back to the moon in over 6 decades. Yet, we've spent an ungodly amount of money fighting poverty, drugs, and foreign wars that we may or may not have needed to fight (and pretty much every one of the wars I just listed probably didn't need fought anyway, and it can be argued we lost all of them- way to go big G). So it's no surprise that suddenly it's looking like China may be able to not only catch up with us in the space race- but perhaps overtake us. And I really hate that possibility.
I mean, seriously, can you tell me you're ok with a country that is literally putting people in concentration camps, clamping down on human rights, pushing for a war with their neighbors, and slowly folding chunks of other continents into their Imperial ambitions getting the lead into the ultimate high ground? I'd laugh, except the idea of a Chinese moonbase with the ability to drop Rods from God on the earth without warning is... Well... Kinda terrifying for the prospect of individual liberty. And if you don't think they'd do it- don't forget they'll put down their own people with tanks (and then bury the memory).
I know it sounds nuts, and maybe slightly hyperbolic, but these are things that I think about on a rather regular basis. Over the last administration, I felt that we were making a turn around and starting to put the screws to the CCP. We had tariffs that were put into place, were calling out the Chinese Uighur genocide, and liberty loving people in places like Hong Kong were flying OUR flag as a symbol of freedom.
Then the houseplant got elected, and all that seemed to poof out of existence. Back to the ways it was done before. No standing against the tyranny of the Chinese government. Nope- just play nice and they'll change their tune.
I don't think that is going to happen.
We are currently in a cold war with China. There is no denying it. They're working to close the gap militarily, monetarily, and scientifically. China's not messing around, and they have goals to be the big boy on the block by the next century. We seem to be stuck in this "do it the old way" mentality regarding letting the CCP get away with literal murder while moving to effect change in our own institutions to bring about... Socialism?
But that's not the thrust of this post- the thrust of this post is we need to get back into space, and right now it's civilian businesses that is getting it done. NASA, with all the potential it has should it get the funding it needs, hasn't made the progress that we need to stay ahead of the Chinese Space Force (seriously- their space enterprises are run by their military). This thought that NASA hasn't made as much of a leap as Space-X has got me to thinking that maybe, in this one instance, the Chinese are right- let the government run the military space operations and shoot for the literal moon while the civilian companies head out to get stuff to sell here on earth (minerals anyone?).
In this model, NASA either dies, is absorbed by the Space Force, or is jettisoned to the civilian sector to work more closely with civilian space companies. I can see the last option working best. Allow NASA to work with US space companies to advance all into space to start the exploitation of it. NASA already has plans of their own, and I can see them getting along swimmingly with the other companies. They get NASA's knowledge and experience, and NASA get's funding from those companies endeavors.
It's a thought at least, and I think it gives us our best shot at beating the CCP into space for real, and ensuring that they don't hold the high ground 100 years from now. What are your thoughts?
Show Notes 072821
New Chinese Silos
China working to surpass US in Space Race
NASA going to become more commercial? OR do we make space commercial? Government solely military in space? No peaceful stuff from the Government?