Glenn Reynolds thinks China’s Moon mission could touch off a new space race, and that would be a good thing:
So if the the Yutu rover finds something valuable, Chinese mining efforts, and possibly even territorial claims, might very well follow. And that would be a good thing.
What’s so good about it? Well, two things. First, there are American companies looking at doing business on the moon, too, and a Chinese venture would probably boost their prospects. More significantly, a Chinese claim might spur a new space race, which would speed development of the moon.
In the foreseeable future, the only realistic path toward humanity moving farther into space is through the private sector. If China making a territorial claim on the Moon is what it takes, then I’m all for it.