Space is political, and it is the new area where power rivalries and assertions are going to take place.
Gunjan Singh, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
China’s space programme is in news again after it created a new record when the Long March rocket system successfully place 41 satellites in space during its 476th mission. Beijing achieved this feat on June 15 and also announced that it is aiming to land astronauts on the moon by 2030. This followed the successful replacement of the crews on the Tiangong Space Station in May. Beijing had sent a civilian into space for the first time.
China’s space programme is one of the most successful in the world, and it has invested billions of dollars. In a very short time, Beijing has achieved a number of milestones: building of space station, spacewalk, launching multiple satellites, anti-satellite weapons, etc. These put Beijing at the top in the space arena after the United States and Russia. It is believed that under President Xi Jinping China’s space programme has been pushed to new heights. The success of the lunar launch will make it a fully established space power.
Space is political, and it is the new area where power rivalries and assertions are going to take place. No surprises that when the US expressed its disagreement over China being part of the International Space Station (ISS) because the space programme has been very much directed and moulded by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Beijing decided to work on its own programme and built its own space station. What is interesting is that the US with support from the private sector is looking to again put astronauts on the moon by 2025, and regain some of its lost edge. Such renewed focus underscores the importance of space technologies and a functioning space prgrammes.
Published in: Deccan Herald
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