India launched its Chandrayaan-1 unmanned spacecraft Tuesday, in its first shot at lunar exploration, said Patrick McCain in Right Pundits. In its two-year mission, the craft will orbit the moon and send back images and data using remarkable new methods. But “that is only half the story.” The other half is India’s “euphoric sense of pride” in accomplishing something that few nations—including its former colonizer, Britain—have yet managed.
Well, two other Asian nations have lunar observers in orbit, said M. Ramesh in India’s The Hindu Business Line. Japan is the “big guy,” out in front but ailing; China is “the aggressive challenger”; and India is “cautious and slow” but “sure-footed.” In this “marathon,” the winner is the one that gathers the most knowledge.
What’s left to learn? said Mukul Sharma in The Times of India. India says it will mine the moon for Helium-3, a promising energy source. But if that fuel is so great, why did the U.S. and Russia stop moon missions in the 1970s? The real point of all space travel today is to ready us for colonies on the moon and Mars, and now “India can also be an enduring part of that outward movement.”