Fears for the future of commercial space exploration, opened up by deregulation (of a kind) first put forth by the Reagan Administration, has been expressed by some lunar scientists following the ascendancy of Social Democrats in the United States after November's presidential election.
Early indications show that, faced with new funding challenges, the Obama Administration may take the prize incentive model embraced by NASA, Google and fellow Democrats in Congress in recent years. Whether this will include adjustments in International Trade in Arms Regulations is another question.
Meanwhile, People's Daily, the official voice of the Communist Party in China, reports even Chinese Socialists of the most ideological variety are investigating the role "competition" could play in furthering lunar exploration.
"The State Administration of Science Technology and Industry for National Defence recently issued the Decision on Introducing Competition Mechanism in the Lunar Exploration Program, which puts forward establishing an evaluation system for the lunar exploration program and setting up a platform for cooperation and competition."
"According to the Decision, from now on, projects that are qualified for competition and selection should be open to bids to determine which research and manufacturing contractors are used."
"For the system integration projects whose responsible units have already been confirmed, they should, in accordance to their characteristics, carry out multilevel technological cooperation in the form of collecting design proposals, selecting the best from various plans or optimizing plans by taking the best aspects of each, and joining research and development, to take full advantage of the whole society’s strengths in science and technology."