Foreign Policy quotes South Asia Center Deputy Director Bharath Gopalaswamy on India’s space program:
If this is the Asian Century, its space age may well be Asian, too. Cash-strapped and overstretched, America’s pre-eminence in space is no longer a given. No human has been to the moon since 1972: the next time this happens, it seems increasingly likely to be an Indian or Chinese astronaut. Asia’s obsession with space is a logical extension of rapid economic growth, increasing power, and an appreciation for science, says Bharath Gopalaswamy, space analyst at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center. “It’s communicating ‘you can do this too,'” to its own population, he adds. It encourages “people to embark on scientific projects that might seem impossible.” And, says Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Dean Cheng, space has great spinoff benefits for militaries, especially with regards to information systems and surveillance.