Australian writer says space is assigned to Asia and western commercial companiesAn opinion piece by Australian writer John Birmingham published on December 17, 2013 from the Brisbane Times offers a hint of how the landing with the Chinese Chang'e 3/Jade rabbit will be seen in countries beyond China and also the United States.
Birmingham is aware that Chinese moon landing like a significant and largely positive development, albeit not for America's own space agency.
'Significant as it marks the arrival from the emerging Chinese superstate within the highest frontier; because doing so throws into sharp relief the retreat on the US from space; and given it presages a whole new realm of competition between Beijing's massive state supported space program as well as the growing band of private, western firms seeking to extract value from cold rocks from the sky.'
In simple terms the new space race will probably be between China as well as a bevy of western manufacturers like SpaceX, Planetary Resources, and Golden Spike, a few. This is actually, despite Birmingham's assessment, a potentially bad situation.
The reason things could turn ugly is always that China provides the military muscle of an government to back its space ambitions. Without their very own nation state to back them up, a gaggle of commercial miners around the moon, say, could well be out of luck if China chose to jump their claim.
Birmingham is proper that NASA is usually a captive to crazy politics. But it needs liberating unless one desires that China becomes the dominate space power for the planet, thus taking possession with the future.
Ironically Birmingham is better known within the United States since the author of an trilogy of alternate history novels where click here the United States is destroyed by an established unknown entity.