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An undeclared space race...
Can the emerging Asian giants make better use of space?
In every human history era, the history has witnessed a race, that is ‘the race for supremacy’. Whenever a country tried to emerge as a powerhouse, it tried to capture all the three spheres – land, water & space. In Cold War era, USSR launched its first artificial satellite in 1957. 50 years later, an undeclared race is again being repeated in the space. But this time, it is between three Asian giants – China, Japan & India. Japan, a US ally has launched its first satellite, around the moon, this year. It was followed by China with its successful launch of Chang’e-1. Both will start sending images by the end of this year, while India is going to join the race by next year.
Though, the claim has often been to use such missions to learn more about the topography of the moon, in the hindsight it is taken for granted that such endeavours would invariable fine tune their inter continental ballistic missile capabilities. Launching of satellites is not a new proposition for either of the three stated nations, yet launching of a moon mission would boost their confidence when time comes to striking with precision distant targets. In each of the cases, the three countries have individual priorities of geo-strategic security, which is getting bolstered with technological feats in the garb of the moon mission. While for long, Japan had legitimate concerns with respect to the increasing capability and intrasigence of North Korea, China at the same time was concerned with Japan coming under the proposed US Ballistic Missile Shield Program. In case of India, the increasing capability of China and its bonhomie with Pakistan has been a reason enough to give more importance to its ICBM capability. What better way to fine tune it than to go for a moon mission under ISRO? If the purpose were to get more data on moon, then the data from NASA from its moon missions which started nearly 40 years back was good enough for the same. But as you know, ‘Nothing is what it seems.’
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