Remember when America raced Russia to the moon? Remember how mind blowing it was that America had a man walk on the moon?
Maybe you don’t “remember” per se, but you know it happened, you realize how significant that event was in our history. Knowing this, that in 1969, America knocked on the door to a new frontier, we should be ashamed that we have haven’t fully walked through that door and explored space.
President Bush wanted to put another astronaut on the moon by 2020, President Obama nixed that idea saying we have already been there and done that.
Not going into the reasoning behind closing down part of our NASA program and having to rely on Russia (our former competitor and cold war enemy) for space exploration (you can check out my other posts on this topic at http://tcavey.blogspot.com/2011/08/huston-we-now-have-problem.html and http://tcavey.blogspot.com/2011/08/from-nasa-to-boeinghustonwe-may-have.html), let’s focus on China’s announcement of a 5 year plan to explore space!
That’s right; China is stepping up to the plate. And why shouldn’t they? America has backed down, leaving the door open for others to take control of the cosmos.
Gene Cernan, former NASA Astronaut, gave an interview on Fox News Friday (12/30/2011) afternoon. He provided some clarity on what is at stake if China takes the lead in space. For starters he states there are “long term implications”. He believes an economic war will be fought in space as China has the ability to destroy our satellites (remember thanks for our new administration, NASA is not fully functioning and cannot act as it once did), interfere with our Banking and Navigational systems as they launch their own satellites (specifically new GPS systems that will challenge what the USA has already put in place), and meddle with our communication system leaving us choking on their space dust. (Okay, the space dust part is mine, not Cernan, but you get the picture.)
All of this, Cernan says, will lead to the question: Who will be the future technological and intellectual superpower?
So I ask you, who do you think will lead the next decade in space exploration and if it’s not America, what’s to become of us? Did we get to the moon only to let others take the lead? I encourage you to read my other posts on this topic if you are not familiar with what the current political administration has done to weaken our standing in space, which weakens other areas of our lives not yet fully realized.