Sunday, September 30, 2007

Asia Could Win Next 'Space Race', US Scientists Fear

Fifty years after the launch of Sputnik left the United States scrambling to play catch-up in the first Space Race, US scientists fear history may be repeating itself as Asia emerges as the rising force in space exploration.

While the achievements of space programmes run by China, Japan and India are modest in comparison to the milestones set by the United States and former Soviet Union, experts at a recent conference in Pasadena believe it is only a matter of time before Asia leads the field.

China, which sent a man into space for the first time in 2003, plans to launch its own moon probe before the end of the year, followed by India in the first half of 2008. Japan kick-started the Asian lunar race on September 14 when it successfully launched its first lunar orbiter.

While China and India have raised the possibility of a manned lunar mission within the next decade, the United States has vowed to return to the Moon in 2020, 48 years after the last US visit. NASA meanwhile has set the ambitious target of wanting to put a man on Mars in 2037.

"When we celebrate 100 years of Sputnik, we might celebrate the 20th anniversary of man landing on Mars," Frank Griffin, NASA's chief administrator said recently.

But many astrophysicists, space engineers and other high-ranking US scientists do not share Griffin's optimism, pointing to waning interest in space exploration amongst young Americans and a lack of government investment in developing elite scientists.

"In America, contrary to our self-image, we are no longer leaders but simply players," said Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium in a recent editorial.

"We've moved backward just by standing still." (Daily News & Analysis)

***** I wonder if the time will come when we shall take our place among the top space-faring nations of the world. Is the journey by our very own astronaut in the next few weeks a small step in the right direction?
Image - Source
Related post: Asian Spacefarers Locked In Lunar Race.
Relevant link: Space Expedition: What's Next?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can Malaysia participate in the space race when we are incapable of sending up our astronauts but have to pay million$
to Russia to take up a useless spaceflight participant who is not even a payload specialist?

3:20 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If paying for a ride to space can make one an astronaut, then all airline passengers need to be reclassified as "pilots" or at the very least, "aero-engineers"

3:26 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In NASA's website the rest of the crews are either cosmonaut or astronaut but for the lone Malaysian crew it's stated as "Space flight participant"

Check it out:-

The Expedition 16 crew members pose for a portrait at the Johnson Space Center. From the left (front row) are Russia’s Federal Space Agency cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, flight engineer and Soyuz commander; astronaut Peggy Whitson, commander; and Malaysian spaceflight participant Sheikh Muzhaphar Shukor. From the left (back row) are European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Léopold Eyharts, astronaut Garrett Reisman and astronaut Dan Tani, all flight engineers.

Can someone please help to translate "Space Flight Participant" to Bahasa, as I am certain it's not "angkasawan"

It's a VERY expensive Russian taxi ride paid for by Joe Average.

Vote BN out!


6:03 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Space Flight Participant" literally means Peserta Penerbangan Angkasa Lepas, which means to say he is just a useless piece of unwanted trash in the spaceship. Will he be chucked out as garbage into space?

10:32 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Billy said...

I fully agree with Anonymous that our guy going into space is not and will not be called an "astronaut". He is nothing more than a space tourist, period. I would appreciate it if our UMNO stop deluding themselves.

9:10 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

malays& muslims in particular, dont delude urself. the dude goin up is no more than a space flight participant.
i wish the trip can b appreciated as simply a msian to space without the 'glorification' of 'islam & etc' when it's only 'a ticket to space'.

5:35 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walau!! The BN Government is paying for someone to travel to Space......IT IS OUR MONEY!!

3:21 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Luckily we send a genius MUSLIM Orthopedic Specialist to the space, not a mumbling bloggers like you!!

be positive! if not for you, wish for your future generations!!

4:25 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey anon 3:35, we muslims are not deluding ourselves. We do appreciate it as simply a malaysian going to space and you shouldn't take heed of some quarters trying to label it as a muslim achievement whatever.
You on the other hand, shouldn't react as if you are having problems with any other things Islamic.

3:35 PM GMT+8  

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