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.