Monday, November 12, 2007

Japan, China on orbit; India gonna join and Germany publishes its dreams

Moon is taking place in mainstream earth news nowadays. Why? At this moment and for about a year or so, Japanese and Chinese probes are cruising Moon's orbit. No, it's not about joint project. But the situation where Japan and China (historical, modern and perhaps even future Earth's tribe rivals) are launching suspiciously similar Moon projects and India (China's historical tribe rival number 2) is polishing surface of its own Moon orbital Chandrayaan-1, was refused to be called Asian space race by Chinese officials though.

Chandrayaan, by the way, is also hope of Europeans associated in ESA. It's gonna carry European technological module, that's gonna help with moon survey. As everything on European peninsula, ESA mixes tribal level with the supra-tribal one. Old tribal pride combined with incapability to achieve national glory by itself led to connecting forces with others. And space requires really huge amount of capabilities to be invested. But back to space!

Europeans together achieved to probe Moon by their SMART-1 project last year. Since then, there has been no signs of efforts to continue with Moon. ESA, instead, focus more on Mars, Earth related project and modest efforts to explore further Solar system. As well as exploration efforts also ESA's budget can be called modest. Perhaps, European peninsula miss kind of tribal rivals as China has.

What's worth mentioning in this situation, is that Germany - one of Europe's leading tribes, with really huge amount of historical rivals - called for its own lunar probe to be launched. Even though not so clearly, the very similar idea was mentioned by British who are now discussing whether to lift their moratorium on human spaceflights. It will be funny to watch whether this can lead to any kind of European space race. Perhaps not, but certain implications will surely come. How will ESA react? Their intergovermental meetings is gonna take place soon, so we will then see if there are some changes in idea of "exploring space together" or not.

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