Red Star In Orbit, Version Two

Jim Pinkerton is concerned about the Chinese space program. I’ve actually exchanged some emails with Pinkerton, and talked to him about space for a few minutes a few months ago at the Cato conference on free enterprise in space. He remains (unjustifiably) skeptical that we can open up the frontier in something other than a major government-program mode.

It’s a potential problem, but not an imminent one. They clearly are taking a longer view than we are, but that’s not unusual. As we saw during Apollo, sometimes the hare beats the tortoise. Unless we are really asleep at the switch, I don’t expect to suddenly wake up early one Sunday morning and discover that the Chinese are way ahead of us. I certainly don’t expect that to happen with the current administration.

I will become truly concerned about China only if they show some signs of trying to open up space with free enterprise. If they do so, the US will be the only remaining space power on the planet using the failed socialist model…