[FPSPACE] Euro-Russian capsule: The silence is....like a vacuum
epgrondine at hotmail.com
Wed Oct 15 16:16:46 EDT 2008
My general conclusion in 1997 after finishing (or rather stopping work on) my "History of Cosmonautics" was that manned space development was too expensive for any one nation to undertake by itself acting alone.
Of course, with the research for the existing technical base now paid for by other countries over the past decades, and with a narrowly focused manned program, China may surprise everyone. On the other hand, once its docking and fuel technologies perfected, China will be in a better position for international co-operation with each step.
I doubt if in the "long term" Europe will further destroy its economy by abandoning its firms and institutions working in this field. Nor will Japan.
Instead I suspect that everyone is waiting for the new NASA Administrator, the new plans for ISS utilization (see my earlier comments on these in the fpspace archive), and the new architecture for manned development of the Moon, and the next US administration's development of its foreign policy.
The driving reason for man tended development of the Moon has been and will continue to remain dealing with the impact hazard, and as this is an unavoidable consequence of living on planet Earth, then CAPS will be developed, by China acting alone if necessary.
Note especially that the manned flight to Mars fantasized about by current NASA Administrator Michael Griffin and many others plays no role in this social calculation. While a source for fantasy, manned flight to Mars is not perceived as a "true need" by most of the people in most nations.
If that causes some people extreme cognitive dissonance, then I suggest to them that that is their personal problem to deal with.
"Man and Impact in the Americas" - a truly great book, if I do say so myself.
If you have not already invested in a personally signed copy already, may I suggest considering doing so today?
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