Thursday, January 24, 2002

COSMONAUT IS DEAD, LONG LIVE TAIKONAUT: Hawspipe has the link to a Chicgo Sun-Times piece on the ambitious Chinese space program by a NASA bigwig. China wants to get their "Taikonauts" on the moon by 2010. The writer gets a tad paranoid here:

Just imagine in 10 or so years a Chinese Taikonaut walking over and dislodging the American flag placed on the lunar surface by Neil Armstrong or bringing back to Earth experiments left behind by Apollo moonwalkers. How would we react? More important, how should this nation react today to this new potential competitor?

Ohmigod, just like in Superman II! GENERAL ZOD IS IN LEAGUE WITH RED CHINA! This HAS to be more evidence of Hollywood giving our enemies ideas. Or at least our space policymakers. Anyway, I thought the brave new space race this time around was going to be done via the market; you know, letting nutty billionaires take trips into space, letting private companies launch satellites, etc. The pyschological impact on us if China gets to the moon? Well, we did it first --we'll always have that. I think they're the ones who need to prove themselves space-wise; we're the ones who need to not get all complacent space-wise. Maybe we don't need to go to the moon again, but we do need some incentives to be in space besides national glory --been there, done that. If we need national glory, there's always Mars.

And talk about prophetic science fiction writers, Cordwainer Smith had this down years ago --I just can't remember where. But he did have the Chinese in space.

Stuff like this makes me think Star Trek, with its harmonious multiracial cast, was ultimately a vision of the best Americans we could be, and not the best humans we could be --though it surely aspired to that too. Maybe the best American humans we could be. The future is obviously not ending the various human cultures and turning us into one big culturally homogeneous species, anyway. Which is probably a good thing in a lot of ways.

Hawspipe also has the link to a neat sports blog called Puck Hog.

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