China starting a new space race?

Pay close attention to the theme song--someone in Chinese Propaganda didn't.

Last week, China launched an unmanned module as the first step toward its own space station.  Called Heavenly -Palace 1, it's an unmanned lab about the size of a bus which they will use to practice docking and maneuvers in preparation for launching its own space station somewhere around 2020.  They still have a long way to go, but they also have 40 years of our mistakes to learn from.  The way will be much faster for them.
This may be the look of the future for non-Terran humans.
China has ambitious plans for its space program, and they have some advantages that we don't.  For one thing, they can make a long range plan and stick with it.  When's the last time that's happened in the American Government?  Remember how Obama canceled the program begun in the Bush administration to build a replacement for the shuttle, supposedly to put that job in the hands of commercial interests, only to turn around and start a new rocket program a year later?  At least we're doing both, but let's face it--government space programs are as much or more about creating or preserving jobs as getting Out There.  The Chinese just want to get there.

They say they can do it cheaper, and no argument there.  It isn't just about them being able to learn from us (their capsule is based on Russian technology, BTW), but also because they aren't dealing with the fat-cat economic system and behemoth-sized bureaucracy we gripe about but do nothing to fix.  (And if that makes you want to swear, check out these Chinese curses used on Firefly.  These were imagined in English, then translated into Mandarin, so that's good ol' American ingenuity there.  Some are the usual profanity, but I give explosive diarrhea of an elephant two thumbs up.)

Is American Space doomed?  Nah.  We're still in the lead and if we decide to take them up on a new Space Race, I believe the government would rise up to the challenge.  However, I don't think we'll need that.  I firmly believe that commercial space will get us there cheaper and faster than the government can.  And I think they'll have greater motivation, too.  We don't want the Chinese to take over the space market like they've taken over the curio/souvenir/mass produced drek market.
We'll do this for space, too, if you let us.  No problem, 

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