Gallery I
Race To The Moon
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Watching China's Adventures In Space


Because the American press has all but ignored her accomplishments, many people in the United States may still have the impression that China is a slumbering giant that is of no serious consequence.


We do not think our leadership in Washington, or at least in the Pentagon, has been looking the other way. And if they have been, they are a pack of fools.


While we have wasted our time flexing our military muscle, acting as a bully to various little countries that can't fight back . . . at least with conventional style warfare . . ., and carelessly expending our military resources for the benefit of corrupt business interests, China has been slowly and silently growing as the next world Super Power.


It is no secret that China has become a major industrial and economic force and is currently loaning money to help keep the United States economy solvent. China is buying business interests, land and other resources in the West.


China's navy, once a fleet of rusted World War II era relics purchased from Russia, has been slowly upgraded to a submarine force that may soon rival our own. Her intercontinental ballistic system, much of it designed and built from data stolen from careless American technologists, is now capable of striking United States soil from across the Pacific. China is a nuclear power.


China also has joined the world of space exploration. Since sending her first astronaut around the Earth in 2003, China has announced plans to reach the Moon and beyond. That nation next sent an un-manned lunar orbiter to circle the Moon and send back images and advanced technical data. The official Xinhua news agency recently announced that the country’s space scientists used data from that mission to create “the world’s highest resolution three-dimensional map” of the Moon.


Sadly, however, during the time the Bush Administration controlled going’s on in Washington, China's leadership expressed disappointment that the United States did not welcome their accomplishments in a spirit of friendship and cooperation.


Instead, President George W. Bush announced a new space exploration program to send men back to the Moon and then on to Mars. Thus Bush launched a new space race . . . this time with the Chinese instead of the Russians . . . and you can be sure it is not for the purpose of space exploration.


What was happening was the start of a race for world domination from space. The way it would work was that the first team that gets to the moon with the right weapon will be the winner.


Joan Johnson-Freese, chairperson of the National Security Decision Making Department, U. S. Naval War College, said the Chinese wanted to work with the United States and Russia in the international space program.


She said the Chinese even went so far as to build a docking ring on their Shenzhou spacecraft so it would be capable of parking at the International Space Station. China's launch complex in Inner Mongolia is on the same parallel as NASA's Kennedy Space Center so China can share an orbit with the space station.


Instead of a diplomatic handshake, the Chinese were snubbed by the Bush Administration. A Reuters news story described it as "a wall of suspicion that the Chinese program, which is under military control, could someday pose a threat to the U.S. domination in satellites used for military communications, reconnaissance and tracking."


As if NASA is NOT under U.S. military control.


In a talk before the Forty First Space Congress in Cape Canaveral, Johnson-Freese noted that while the U. S. is quick to snub the Chinese space effort, "the Europeans are eager to work with them. China is already participating in the European Union’s Galileo constellation, a rival to the U. S. Global Positioning System."


Her next observation is ominous, but understandable.


"The rest of the world clearly sees the U.S. as space dominant," Johnson-Freeze said. "This scares a lot of other countries. They see us as having the sword and the shield."


From this observation point we saw Mr. Bush and his friends in Washington playing a very dangerous game that needed to be stopped. By all appearances they were making all of the mistakes the great military powers of history made . . . the Romans, Hannibal, Alexander, Napoleon, the Nazis . . . they all got too greedy, they were perceived as a threat to the world, and they all went down in flames.


Fortunately things have changed dramatically since the United States was slammed with the worst financial crisis seen since the Great Depression. The new administration, under President Barack Obama, appears to not only be more receptive to world cooperation, but the drain on the U.S. Treasury has forced dramatic cut-backs in funding for those ambitious new space initiatives.

For us, the race with China and other nations for the Moon may be over. Whether that puts us in harm’s way at some future date remains to be seen.