China is trying to catch up with competitors in the space race

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Russia and the USA have preserved their leadership in space exploration, but they face a growing competition from other states, primarily from China. That conclusion is stated in a report prepared by Futron research company (USA).
By Andrei Karneev: For five years Futron has been composing an index of competitive position of various participants of space exploration. The experts make conclusions based on the analysis of government programs, the industrial bases and human resources of various countries. The latest annual report states that the undisputable leadership of Russia and the US in space exploration is supported by the following facts: over the last 10 years of the 640 successful launches that took place all over the world, Russia’s share was 255 launches, the USA's – 191 launches and China's – 87 launches. However, if we look at a one-year period, it becomes clear that China is actively trying to reduce the lag behind the two leaders. Based on the first half of the year results China became the world leader for the first time based on the number of space launches. China carried out ten space launches, Russia – nine, the USA – eight. China is increasing budget financing for the preparation of specialists for the space industry. For a number of years China has been consistently increasing its financing of scientific research programs in space. China so far has not produced any breakthrough technologies in space exploration. In the area of space exploration China is primarily busy with developments, trying to overcome its lagging behind the world level, thinks Victor Supyan, deputy director of the Institute of the USA and Canada. “China has more and more launches. But one must remember that these are imitation launches – they repeat what was in the past done by the USA and the Soviet Union. The Chinese program is mostly based on our technologies. China demonstrates its efforts to catch up where it lagged behind; it concerns not only space exploration, but also other areas. However, it will take many more years to reach Russia's current level of space technologies and the level of space equipment,” - believes Professor Victor Supyan. According to most experts, China's accumulation of scientific and technical potential is going full speed and in 10-15 years one can expect from China a real breakthrough in the area of manned space exploration. This year an important event was the docking of the manned spaceship with the orbital module Tyangun-1, which was a prototype of China’s future orbital space station. Around 2020 on the basis of Tyangun-3 China plans to produce world’s third permanently manned orbital station with a ten-year term of service (the first two being the Soviet Mir space station and the International Space Station). Taking into account the successful preparation for its construction and the existing plans to explore deep space, China’s space program for the following ten years can compare in scope to the program fulfilled by the USSR in the 1980s. Source: Voice of Russia

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