I must say that I am disappointed by the whole China in space story. Good for Peking and all. However, there are some things that superpowers should do, just to say, “Hey, I’m the BSD* on this planet. You may go to space, but we go to the moon.” We don’t do that any more. We should.
It makes little sense for us to go to the moon or to Mars. It makes very little economic sense. But dammit we should do it just to prove we’re the best and biggest BSD ever to swing across the earth. And, make no mistake, we are the best. But we won’t remain so unless we get off our butts and back into space.
At the rate we’re going, China will surpass us. We may not rub it in that we’re a BSD, but you can bet your butt the Chicoms will.
*BSD:Big Swinging [male organ]. With compliments to John Derbyshire.[Update: I almost forgot, Derb also invented the word “bleg,” usually a verb meaning to solicit reader help through a blog post, e.g. “Jonah Goldberg and Rich Lowry notoriously bleg for data from NRO readers to assist their own research for their writings.”]