Will Asia Win The Next Space Race?

1651 WordsDec 4, 20147 Pages
Will Asia Win The Next Space Race? Earth has changed significantly since man first left its atmosphere over a half century ago. Human technology has advanced at a nearly exponential rate, making it easier and easier to foray into space. The countries of the world have transformed nearly as quickly. When Neil Armstrong first stepped onto the desolate surface of the moon there were only two nations in the world whose citizens had entered orbit: the Soviet Union and the United States. Today there are thirty-eight. However, only three countries have independently launched manned spacecraft; China joined the United States and the Soviet Union/Russia in 2003. This would have undoubtedly come as a huge shock to the NASA scientists of the Apollo era. China has become one of the most active space-going nations and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. The other giant of Asia has not been slacking either; India has developed a space program with a relatively tiny budget but is checking off milestones rapidly. They didn’t send a mission to the moon until 2008 but reached Mars in 2014 [3]. The Americans are still the biggest players in space but their future is uncertain. Lack of public support has led to budget cuts at NASA; it is tough to justify launching billions of dollars deep into space when the country is trillions of dollars in debt. Although the United States has a significant head start in space exploration some experts believe that either China or India could overtake them

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