Beforehand, lo and behold, one important fact you should note: while NASA shuffles with its limitary budget, a new space race is commencing within its relative absence. It is no longer a two-party competition, though, a disproportionate amount of time by which we testified the intense rivalries between United States and Soviet Union. No more.
It is becoming increasingly polarized, with new entrants penetrating into a whole-new chapter of space exploration in 21st century. This year, we saw China announce its plan to establish a permanent, manned mission to the Moon by 2020, as well as its plan to set up its own space station, throwing down the gauntlet at International Space Station’s (ISS) domination. Then Japan, despite its economic setbacks, continues to develop its lunar mission and is even preparing solar sails.
Still, none of these countries could catch up with the Indian space program’s strong ambition to launch its unmanned mission to Mars, and now, Mangalyaan, as the satellite is named, has been successfully launched today.
We all admit, comparing India to either China or Japan, still the latter do have more sophistication, given that both countries have repeatedly launched manned missions to outer space and preceded the former in lunar exploration, but such eminence doesn’t necessarily imply India’s space program is inferior, though. Its Chandrayaan mission, the lunar-trotting space probe, has discovered an abundance of water and minerals on the Moon, a pride neither of the two nations has embarked on.
If India’s latest mission could bring home pictures of Mars’ scenery (the nation will still have to wait for 10 months before the sojourner lands on the Red Planet), its space-exploration pride would be similar to that of United States, Russia, and Europe, and such measure would pose a new challenge on either China’s or Japan’s space program, or even endorse a more bold ambition among many of the new, emerging-market countries’ space-probe attempts to transpierce the dreams of their predecessors in the future.
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