Well, the Chinese and Indians are both planning manned space missions. What do you think? Who’ll be first? Is it really worth it? If so, to who? What will the space rations be like?
China should have no problem beating India – last I heard, China was scheduled to launch a manned orbital mission this October (to coincide with some big Communist Party event). Or has something changed recently? They’ve already launched unmanned test capsules and recovered them successfully; IIRC, the last one was an everything-but-the-human complete run, which worked fine (or so they announced, at least).
Given what I’ve seen of India’s machining abilities, I doubt they’ll ever get anyone in orbit or beyond, at least not with more than a 10% chance of a safe return. The tools they put out look like they were made on a coal-fired hand forge – and they probably really were.
I guess the old Tom Lehrer song is coming true: “Gather 'round while I sing you of Werner von Braun, a man whose allegiance is ruled by expedience . . . ‘In German, or English, I know how to count down, und I’m learning Chinese,’ says Werner von Braun.” :mrgreen: