China launches a spaceman. Based on feedback on Metafilter and Slashdot, I would describe the general reaction as “guarded, magnanimous optimism.” The community is ebullient with congratulations to China, but there’s an underlying current of “Oh no, them thar oppressive Communists is a-beatin’ us at our own game!”
Seriously, it takes money, will, and guts to launch such an ambitious space endeavor — ambition which our own space program seems to have lost in a mess of budget cuts and gray hair. Come on, NASA! When will we be seeing that Space Plane? A Moon Base? A Mars Base?