Tuesday, June 16, 2009

John Derbyshire on The Apollo Moon Missions and the Voyages of Zheng He

The ever-genial, conservative, Sinologist  John Derbyshire compares the Apollo Moon Missions of forty years ago and the seven voyages of Zheng He from 1405 to 1433.  Says Derb:  Manned space travel always was, and still is, a pointless extravaganza project of no practical or scientific value — a Zheng He expedition for our time.  Continues Derb:  If ( we Americans ) were wiser and more frugal, we would have just shut down the whole pointless business after the Apollo program, as the fifth Ming Emperor stopped the treasure fleets.
I have always asked students here why nothing much has seemed to happen in manned space travel since the Apollo missions.  I have also asked them if China should go to the Moon, and they have responded that it should.  But I will now bring up the example of Zheng He.  The Chinese would be smart to not go to the Moon at all.

1 comment:

hchuang said...

You do realize Zheng He was a tremdously bad example against human space flight? Zheng He's story is the tale of Ming's dramatic short-sightness and mis-opportunity in that China missed out the era of the sea...

China can not afford to miss out on new discoveries in space.