Asian space race: Emerging rivalries and partnerships

China's first female astronaut Liu Yang after landing in June 2012 (photo:dpa)
China's first female astronaut Liu Yang after landing in June 2012 (photo:dpa)

While the US, Russia and Europe are traditionally seen as the space ‘superpowers', a number of Asian countries, particularly China, Japan and India, are becoming big players in space exploration. But hot on their heels are other Asian nations which are getting into the race. The first of a two-part series on the Asian space race looks at the competition and alliances between key players, and at their goals for future space exploration.

THE SPACE race in Asia is hotting up. When China became only the third nation to independently put a human into space in 2003, other countries started to sit up and take notice.

China had independently launched its fir...

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