And when you are in a cold war, using cheap economics means to bring the west to their knees is dirt cheap compared to a hot war.
Think back to 9/11. Think back to that and the next day. Now make things WORSE . Take away sewage and water. Take away banks. Stop delivery trucks. Stop the trains and hospitals. Stop the electricity. Now, make it last no less than 30 days, though probably more.
And you think that what W/neo-cons did to our economy will come even CLOSE to what China can and more importantly, is attempting to do?
What is your point? NASA will continue to push envelopes for new frontiers (assuming that tea baggers can not gut NASA), while private new space will make this cheap to do.
Holy smoke! With people!??? My God, to the stars brother! TO THE STARS!!!!
PS: The Moon is 10 times further still. The Moon. Our Moon. Our local satellite. SpaceX has gloriously managed to go where we've gone before. Using a half century old government facility! Glorious.
but at a much cheaper costs. And within 2 years, they will put up the largest loads to GTO and at a fraction of the costs of what they charge today.
Space is NOT about abilities, but about fiscal ability.
Secondly, SpaceX is NOT competing against ULA. ULA is not competing in any real arena.
SpaceX is competing against China's, Russia's, and Europe's launch vehicles. And they will be taking away most of the open competition business. However, most businesses outside of America are very nationalistic and will go to great lengths to support their local launch vehicles. Still, SpaceX will have a full docket for the next 5 years without a single change.