atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6144: You're nuts.

China will win the space race! The article is full of scaremongering and horseshit.

Look: China doesn't invent anything. They don't innovate. Without the aid of the Clinton administration they'd still be trying to figure out how to put things in orbit; lowering barriers to technology exports is why China's able to put things up there so soon.

China's started talking about building a heavy launch vehicle, the Long March 9, which is supposed to have as much payload capacity as a Saturn V. And the conclusion of that post is the telling point:
If the artists impression is accurate, the CZ-9 is clearly from the same train of thought that produced the SLS. Which means that it’ll probably cost something like the SLS, adjusted for Chinese costs rather than NASA bureaucracy. Which would be fine in normal times, but we seem to be heading into a whole new era...SpaceX and Blue Origin pull it off, or even just one of them, rockets like the CZ-9 will look *really* outdated.
China's proposed heavy lift booster is pretty much SLS on steroids--which, set alongside Falcon Heavy with its entirely reusable first stage, looks pretty pathetic, all told. China could conceivably make it to Mars before we do--but they'd have to completely change their operating paradigm to do it, and they'd bankrupt themselves in the process.

* * *

Speaking of douchebaggery in the spaceways, Kim Stanley Robinson is up to his old tricks. The same science fiction writer who rode his series about colonizing Mars to SF celebrity, yet believes Man shouldn't explore space, now thinks we ought to stop living in the countriside, and all move to giant megacities, so that half of Earth can be "left alone".

The same world government which can make its citizens all live in a giant rat's warren is a government which can kill and oppress those people at will. I'm sure that doesn't bother a reliable leftist like Robinson, but it sure as hell bothers me.

* * *

What's going on at Facebook? Not really my problem, though, since I don't really care.

* * *

Last night we saw Penn and Teller, at the same theater we saw Sweeney Todd at (three times...). They're entertaining on TV but they're much more entertaining live, and we really enjoyed the show.

I really do enjoy stage magic, anyway.

Today, then, was a long, dull day, made better only by the series of YouTube videos I watched. I handled fifteen inbound contacts, though, which is better than last week, so perhaps the doldrums are coming to an end. That'd be nice.

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