Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
China Moon Space United States

US Space Firms Tell Washington: China Will Take Over the Moon if You're Not Careful (yahoo.com) 165

The US space industry is prodding the US government into refreshing its outdated laws on commercial activity beyond earth: scare it with talk of Chinese galactic domination. A report adds: At a Senate hearing on the space industry this week, companies that build rockets and space habitats and manufacture electronic goods in space spoke about a standard laundry list of complaints, from regulatory burdens to fears of subsidized competitors. But their message was wrapped in patriotic concerns about China's growing capacity for space action. These companies are eager for the US government to allow and invest in commercial activities in orbit and around the moon. Many think the laws governing action in space, and particularly the UN Space Treaty, need refreshing for an age when private companies are close to matching the space capacity of sovereign nations. The last major change was a law on asteroid mining passed in 2015.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

US Space Firms Tell Washington: China Will Take Over the Moon if You're Not Careful

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "companies that build rockets and space habitats and manufacture electronic goods in space"

    Who is doing all of this manufacturing in space. I feel like I just woke up in the future. This is great!!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, you probably have.

      Turns out it wasn't a moon at all. Instead it was a fully armed and operational battle station that we all had to witness the full power of. We asked Chewie to lock in the auxiliary power but our Wookie friend just growled and howled back, grrwaarawhh.

      Meanwhile, the "Senate" was actually under full control over and evil Sith Lord. The rebels were able to get a big ass tape cartridge in the world largest robotic tape silo thingy, align a fucking satellite, then upload the battle sta

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So, the laws do get updated, and far more regularly than most drug laws. What's the problem?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Nothing like a bit of it!

  • There's one way (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TFlan91 ( 2615727 ) on Thursday April 27, 2017 @03:26PM (#54314983)

    There's one way to get Trumps attention.

    Put it in terms of China.

    Trump, if we don't fund science, China will be #1 in RD
    Trump, if we don't fund NASA, China will own the Moon!

    • "If you destroy Net neutrality, China will have better internet than us!"
    • by Anonymous Coward

      There's one way to get Trumps attention.

      Put it in terms of China.

      Trump, if we don't fund science, China will be #1 in RD Trump, if we don't fund NASA, China will own the Moon!

      This would make a great SNL skit, a matador waves a Chinese flag in front of Trump who instantly spouts horns, a tail and hooves on is feet and charges the flag. Olé, Olé, Olé..... (or whatever the equivalent of 'Olé' is in Chinese)

    • Trump, if we don't return to the Moon, the Chinese will carve "Made In China" into the lunar surface that can be seen from Earth. Wouldn't you want to see "Made by Trump" instead?
      • If you really want to sell it, I think you'd have to suggest we could gild the Moon.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Lunar 1: Houston, we have a problem. The Chinese have landed their ship on the moon before us.
        Houston: Don't worry, Lunar 1. We have things under control.
        Lunar 1: Houston, this is getting serious! The Chinese are painting the entire surface of the moon bright red.
        Houston: Don't worry Lunar 1. We know what we're doing.
        Lunar 1: Houston, the Chinese lander has left the moon. Everyone can see its red now. What do we do?
        Houston: Good. Now you can land.
        Lunar 1: Okay, and then what?
        Houston: Get out that white pain

    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Thursday April 27, 2017 @04:23PM (#54315355)

      Trump, if we don't fund science, China will be #1 in RD

      How is it not a problem if a repressive government gets ahead of the west in R&D? Do you like more, or less repressive government and the wrongful imprisonment of dissenters?

      Trump, if we don't fund NASA, China will own the Moon!

      Again, would you like a militarily aggressive force controlling the moon? That seems like a pretty valid concern for real, not just "a way to get Trump interested". In fact it's why Trump is already pretty interested in continuing NASA's work and why NASA didn't face any major budget cuts, in fact they increased planetary science spending, which is what you would hope from any rational president. We are all better off if a number of nations have operations on the moon, so we should figure out how to get more U.S. presence back on our nearest neighbor.

      • Again, would you like a militarily aggressive force controlling the moon? That seems like a pretty valid concern for real, not just "a way to get Trump interested".

        Hasn't the most militarily aggressive country done most of the Moon exploration to date?

        • Hasn't the most militarily aggressive country done most of the Moon exploration to date?

          Yes, but do you want the militarily aggressive that is for free speech and human rights or the one that is against it?

          Though frankly the U.S. has toned down from the age of military drone strikes on weddings.

          Also it's not like we mounted any weapons on the moon whereas the Chinese certainly would. Do you truly doubt that?

          • by dryeo ( 100693 )

            You mean the country that believes free speech and other rights stop at their border? A country that has most of the worlds prisoners in its prisons? A country that has privatized their prisons to make sure the prisoners are treated like shit and tortured? A country that glories in executing people slowly? A country that routinely invades other countries and destabilizes large areas? A country that never keeps its word? A country that responds to a crook running for election by finding even a bigger one?

            • How does the US think free speech stops at its border? The US has more free speech protections than pretty much any other country, because most other countries think "hate speech" isn't protected speech. The US does not glorify in executing people, let alone doing it slowly. "Never keeps its word" is strong and demonstrably false.
              • by dryeo ( 100693 )

                How does the US think free speech stops at its border?

                Well, from all the Americans who consider that the Constitution only applies to American citizens to the countries that America actively supports, eg Saudi Arabia to trying to prosecute foriegn journalists.

                The US does not glorify in executing people, let alone doing it slowly.

                Are you not aware of how executions are carried out in America? Generally it involves shooting some horrible chemicals into the prisoner and watching him flip around as he slowly dies and when they were experimenting with other chemicals, lots of people acted quite happy that it took the prisoner that mu

                • Your first example is so completely off base I'm not even sure how to respond, but I'll give it a shot. Parts of the US Constitution do only apply to American citizens, and the Constitution always only applies within American borders. The First Amendment and free speech are not the same thing, however.

                  I am aware. The fact that executions do occur does not mean they are glorified, and properly administered, there is no "flipping around" [forbes.com]. When it's done properly, loss of consciousness is extremely quick and
          • For a country that is, as you insist, military agressive for free speech and human rights, it has supported way too many dictators who were against both. I judge by the deeds, not words.

            • by Maritz ( 1829006 )

              I judge by the deeds, not words.

              The slave-driving 'land of the free' put paid to words meaning jack shit a long, long time ago.

      • Sorry, I can't tell if you are being ironic or not. I think you are, but just in case...

        Are you seriously suggesting that China is militarily aggressive relative to the US and Russia? Just look at the countries that you have bombed into freedom. Look at how completely ruined those places are now and how they are now breeding grounds for ISIS.

        Have you ever been China? There are certainly things the government censors. That is done normally be deleting it off the net at the ISP level so folks cannot see it. I

        • I have been to China, and also to Hong Kong (technically part of, yet very different). Have *you* been to the deep countryside of China, outside of major cities? Do you have any idea of what is really going on in China? Pretty obviously no.

      • How is it not a problem if a repressive government gets ahead of the west in R&D? Do you like more, or less repressive government and the wrongful imprisonment of dissenters?

        You speak of China as if they were the same as North Korea, or worse, which is manifestly untrue. China, in the 60es, was repressive, no doubt, and you could see it in the fall in living standards, but things have turned around in a radical way since then. Have you ever been to China? If you ask anybody whether they think their government is repressive, they will tell you that the government does what it should - that it does what the people wants. As an American you may not like it, but since this is not y

      • Trump, if we don't fund science, China will be #1 in RD

        How is it not a problem if a repressive government gets ahead of the west in R&D? Do you like more, or less repressive government and the wrongful imprisonment of dissenters?

        Trump, if we don't fund NASA, China will own the Moon!

        Again, would you like a militarily aggressive force controlling the moon? That seems like a pretty valid concern for real, not just "a way to get Trump interested". In fact it's why Trump is already pretty interested in continuing NASA's work and why NASA didn't face any major budget cuts, in fact they increased planetary science spending, which is what you would hope from any rational president. We are all better off if a number of nations have operations on the moon, so we should figure out how to get more U.S. presence back on our nearest neighbor.

        An interesting thought. If you want to liquidate a company and the tax rate is 35%, that is going to be a very big bite.
        If you convince the congress to lower the corporate tax rate to 15%, and then liquidate, you have saved yourself 30% of perhaps a billion dollars or two.

        I bet Trump would like to liquidate now, to show he is lilly white clean.
        or
        Isn't Trump trying to be generous t

    • If China takes over the moon, that will bring it in conflict w/ the Muslim world.

      The US needs to take over the moon like it needs to take over Syria. Let the Chinese conquer the moon, and then have Shezuan Pork there. Feed that info the the Muslims, and watch their heads explode in places like Lahore, Qum, Raqqa, Riyadh, Gaza, Cairo, Benghazi, et al

    • Except that Trump is not the one inventing this scheme.

      # anytime you want to rattle the American public, blame China
      # anytime you want to push expensive budget, invoke China
      # anytime you want to get away from being blame, point your finger to China

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      Actually it is not just China. China and Russia are joining forces to create a joint commercial space program which will draw in others countries to expand it well beyond US efforts. I fully support US space firms in their efforts to remain relevant, so should anyone else who prefers a space industrial complex over a war industrial complex. Invest in a future amongst the stars or invest in the extinction of the human race, drowned in blood, gore and shrapnel.

      What you are seeing is other countries only inve

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      You make it sound like he cares about if China are really #1 in something. All that matters is whether he can convince himself otherwise (yep, can).
  • They'll need to battle it out with the space nazi's that occupied the dark side of the moon post WW2. I say we let them clean them out before we start worrying about a base.
    • by pr0t0 ( 216378 )

      Nice reference!

      There's a common cryptozoology theory that "the grays" are actually a very advanced form of human life who've come from the future to observe their humble beginnings.

      So you have to ask yourself, do they look more European or Asian in appearance? If the answer is the latter, then perhaps there's no doubt about which ethnicity will colonize space!

  • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Thursday April 27, 2017 @03:32PM (#54315013)

    When it was the Russians. Worth a try.

    • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )
      Perhaps someone should fake a video of Jinping pounding his shoe on a table promoting a long march to the Moon.
    • When it was the Russians. Worth a try.

      "Know your audience." A pitch on the merits isn't going to convince more than a handful of them.

  • It is there to be used to the benefit of all, no one can "own" it.

    • You do realize that Smith's point was that commons were a bad thing, because they would inevitably be overused and destroyed. Hence the phrase, "tragedy of the commons".

    • It is there to be used to the benefit of all, no one can "own" it.

      Just like the southwest Pacific and all those teeny uninhabitable atolls no one can own?

  • We cannot let Red China control all the green cheese! http://uncoveror.com/moon.htm [uncoveror.com]
  • Undeserving. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Thursday April 27, 2017 @03:50PM (#54315131)

    Considering that the US legislature has done everything they can to impede progress in space exploration, I don't think they deserve any say about the future of space exploration. China isn't great but at least they are investing in science instead of sticking their heads in the sand and saying global warming is a hoax.

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <.moc.cam. .ta. .rcj.> on Thursday April 27, 2017 @03:51PM (#54315137) Journal

    Seriously guys, this isn't hard to understand.

    -jcr

    • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )
      Boeing and Lockheed are free to spend their profits as how they see fit, nobody stopping them. Right now they get money from NASA. They can do what Musk and Bezos are doing... though these guys get some money from NASA. It's funny, people want to deregulate and get rid of govt but they just love that govt money.
    • Then you'll have a bunch of space launch companies with no work to do other than launching private satellites...although without regulation in space, maybe they'll also launch autonomous space fighters to attack competing satellites and defend their own. And then we'll have Kessler syndrome and the whole space launch business will shut down. And then everyone will have to buy flaming space junk insurance for their homes and cars.

      Maybe the space junk insurance industry will be bigger than the space launch in

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      Without NASA there is nobody to pay for "private space" apart from communications satellites, and that's hardly enough to keep the lights on. Any "private space" company without military funding would be doomed.
      It's appears to be one of those situations where there is far too little return for a purely private model to work.
      It's worth mentioning that NASA didn't build the lunar lander, Grumman built the lunar lander. It's been "private space" ever since we ran out of captured German V2 rockets and started
    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )

      Seriously guys, this isn't hard to understand.

      That'd be "understand" as in, not quite the average toddler's level of understanding. Thanks for your valuable input.

      Let's wheel you in to one of these meetings so you can stun everyone with your five words of sheer intellectual brilliance.

      • by jcr ( 53032 )

        not quite the average toddler's level of understanding.

        Project much?

        Spoken like one with no clue at all of NASA's decades of hostility to private enterprise in space. Google for "OTRAG" for one example of a potential competitor that they pulled out all the stops to kill off.

        -jcr

  • Haven't you seen the documentary called Iron Sky [imdb.com]?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So much potential, but such a crappy result.

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      Imho The best part of the movie was this scene with finland https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

      Who'da thought everyone else would have enough money to run secret space programs with weaponised space stations and no one noticed.

  • will never allow the Chinese to take over the Moon.

  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Thursday April 27, 2017 @04:04PM (#54315223) Journal

    I don't care what motivation we have, if it takes sparking our president's over-prickly ego, or threatening ever-insecure America generally with the idea that someone else will get there first.

    I truly don't care the excuse: just fucking go back to space already.

    • Yep. when our biggest fear was the Soviet Ruskies and their godless nuclear and rocket scientists burying us in nuclear dust, engineering and science was a rewarding career in the U.S., math and science education was a big deal, and shit got built and done. Grab your pocket protector and your slide rule and join the government research lab, we gotta beat the Russians!

      If Trump and Putin are just a little too tight with each other (I mean, get a room for chrissakes and get it over with), maybe a little red

  • it is send us more money! Regarding asteroid laws, Moon Treaty, etc. first gotta have capability to have Moon travel routinely. Right now it is really hard just to get there, "GAO: NASA Human Space Exploration: Delay Likely for First Exploration Mission" http://spaceref.com/news/views... [spaceref.com]
  • Let's see, china's moon exploration program is called CLEP.

    Trouble, oh we got trouble,
    Right on the moon!
    With a capital "T"
    That rhymes with "C"
    And that stands for CLEP,
    That rhymes with "K"
    And that stands for KLEP,
    That's stealing the moon!
    We've surely got trouble!

  • ... It will be fantastic. Believe me.
  • and anxiously awaits the arrival of our astromen.

    Will you be among them?

  • Just build a wall... on the Moon.
    • by Atryn ( 528846 )
      What if you carve the wall *out* of the moon and then crash it onto the US-Mexican border????

      That will stop illegal immigration (one way or another...)
  • by ronmon ( 95471 ) on Thursday April 27, 2017 @05:44PM (#54315801)

    You all seem to be making fun of this, but look at the territorial grabs that are taking place. Shoals and tiny islands that are very far from China and very close to other countries are being claimed, settled and developed by China. They don't give a shit about treaties, pacts or international laws. They take what they want.

  • China has at least one HUGE advantage over the US: 3-4 times the number of taxpayers. As China becomes increasingly wealthy, it'll be easier for China to raise the funds for ambitious space-exploration projects.

    If China prioritizes Moon-colonization over travel to Mars, it means only one thing: its leaders aren't confident that they can get to Mars with current technology & survive long enough to plant a flag.

    The moon isn't a "stepping stone" to anything... even after you launch a rocket from the moon,

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )

      even after you launch a rocket from the moon, you're STILL almost as deep inside Earth's gravity well as you'd have been after launching from Earth.

      This is either full blown wrong or an exceptionally egregious use of the word 'almost'. Don't have time to check which. ;)

  • It seems to me that we haven't really gotten past the moon yet. How about establishing a base or two there, build some stable science, refueling, and manufacturing capabilities there, and THEN start worrying about the trip to Mars.

  • I remember, but can't find, a quote that came out in the late 50s or 60s, that went like this:

    "What will we find on the Moon?"

    "Russians!"

    I thought it was Edward Teller, but I can't find any refs on the web to that. Of course it's entirely possible at my age, that I made it up...

    And obviously that prediction failed badly.

Information is the inverse of entropy.

Working...