Asian Space Race: Rhetoric or Reality?

Space discipline has attracted the attention of many for more than six decades. I first got allured to space science and astronomy as a student of Physics. Subsequently, as a part of my profession as an aviation meteorologist over a decade and half, I was the user of space technologies. For a decade or so, while working in a policy think tank on international relations and security issues, I am trying to juxtapose the theme of strategic technologies on a security domain. This book is an attempt to contextualise these efforts to develop an explicit idea.

This book attempts to describe the current state of space programmes of various Asian states. It provides a summary of their programmes and highlights their major contributions. This work also deliberates about the strategic significance of various Asian space programmes. It is an attempt to find a connection between technology, interests, strategic relevance and power with regard to Asia’s space agenda.

I owe my gratitude to the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and my previous and present Directors General Mr N S Sisodia and Dr Arvind Gupta for encouraging me to undertake research on this subject. The IDSA library, a large storehouse of information I have ever came across, made my job simpler. I would like to thank particularly Mr Pitambar Datt and Mr Mukesh Kumar Jha for all the assistance provided to me in obtaining various material and data. Over the years, I have been interacting with various policy makers and academicians both within and outside India. I am grateful to them for many useful discussions.

Lastly, my gratitude to my parents and wife Pramada and son Nipun for their support. The contents of this manuscript reflect my own personal views.

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