Economic expansion and liberty, by Mars Maniac in Chief Ken MMinC., and occasional brilliance and humor by CJ.
Over 10,000 Chinese citizens have applied to become [Mars One] astronauts – the second highest number behind Americans - and the government would seem to be not at all happy.
I don't think this is quite right. First off, it's probably correct that the date is hopelessly optimistic, and if I was a betting man, I'd bet that it won't happen at all. China has a huge problem with scams and pretty much anything that seems to promise dreams of riches (AMWAY is HUGE there) and people are getting fleeced at a frightening rate. I personally know a guy who moved from the north to the south of China in dreams of finding his fortune, got sucked in by a very nasty scam, and ended up basically imprisoned in a kind of debt slavery. He only just managed to escape back north. People in the west see China as a monolithic entity where everything is arranged by the central government, but in fact Beijing can barely control the provincial governments, and the provincial governments can barely control what goes on under their noses. Even when they have the angels on their side (trying to close illegal unsafe mining operations) their own officials in the regions conspire against them (and probably own part shares in the mines anyway). At one point they had to resort to sending working parties from the capital to physically blow up mines, because it was the only way to ensure their orders were carried out. The government has good reason to be concerned about anything that sounds like it could be a scam, because it is fully aware that its own survival depends on maintaining a reasonable level of social and economy harmony. Think of China as a large boat filled with people who ALL rush to one side whenever someone shouts that there's something interesting to see, and the captain is constantly shouting at people to try to maintain an even keel in case the whole damn ship capsizes. I see their response here as part of this much larger pattern. In the context of modern China, the government's response is quite natural, even if it is also simply a knee-jerk reaction.
Thank you for visiting and providing perspective. China is a fascinating country.
I should modify what I said above, in that I believe that we will get to Mars eventually. I just think the timing of this particular project under discussion to be very optimistic.
Absolutely it's optimistic. They probably will not get the funds they need. But they might. Then the principle of only using contractors that have or are near completion makes it much more likely to succeed.
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