Is Asia on Cusp of Space Race?
The United States and Russia defined the world’s first space race, but following South Korea’s successful orbital rocket launch this week, it appears Asia — particularly North Asia — is the world’s new epicenter for space rivalries in the 21st century.
“In some sense we are already there,” says Daniel Pinkston, North East Asia Deputy Project Director for International Crisis Group in Seoul, South Korea. “The Chinese have been very active… (also) Japan, North and South Korea. It’s quite a competitive atmosphere.”
The race will only ratchet up later this year.
In the second half of 2013, China will shoot for the moon with the aim of landing a rover vehicle on its surface; building on exploration milestones in 2003 and 2012 with the first man, then woman, in space. India plans to send an unmanned probe into Mars orbit this November.