China plans to launch 15 rockets, 17 satellites and a crewed spaceship during 2008. But that's not going to be enough to scare the United States into launching a new space race. And the U.S. really, really needs a new space race to get us to take space exploration seriously again.
China's ramped-up space plans (and its airbrushed moon porn) are definitely making the U.S. twitchy. The U.S. government refused to help with the launch of China's Chang'e lunar orbiter.) But the U.S. has mostly been laid-back, and a little condescending. Like this L.A. Times article that says "There's Room For China In Space." Really? No way. (Here's another one.) Even the fact that Russia, Western Europe and Japan have all launched their own robot probes isn't freaking Americans out yet.