China Taking Over the Moon? Bigelow Aerospace Worried October 21, 2011Posted by Nick Azer in : Bigelow Aerospace, China, Frontiers , trackback
Alan Boyle over at the awesome MSNBC Cosmic Log has a great article about China’s moon colonization presence, and how it has private space heavyweight Bigelow Aerospace concerned…
“Is China on course to surpass the United States as the world’s space superpower and stake a claim on the moon in the next 15 years? Billionaire space executive Robert Bigelow is deeply worried about that scenario — and he says Americans need a “kick in the ass” to respond to the challenge.” -Alan Boyle, “Will China Take Over The Moon?“, Cosmic Log
The post is one of the better overviews I’ve seen on why the Moon at all, why China’s leading, and where Bigelow and other private space efforts fit into the moon colonization.
The potential tension between a private-ruled lunar future and China’s preferred UN-style moon is fascinating…and rising, as both sides get closer to serious business. To me, history shows private enterprise opens the way (the American West, for example—government was involved, but it really didn’t develop until more personal, private influence became feasible), but it’s a different world (worlds?) now.
In terms of giving the U.S. a “kick in the ass” (as Bigelow puts it), I think switching the focus from NASA to private space is intended as one—U.S. companies within our free enterprise could theoretically be a much more powerful force than U.S. government presence could ever be. The settlement of Oregon and Washington is a similar example: England was competing for it, and co-managed the territory, but the influx of American settlers tipped the region in the American direction (with England settling for modern British Columbia).
For the full range of Bigelow’s colorful opinions on the lunar situation and details on China’s status, click through to the complete article!