GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON #219 15 MAY 2021
News is focused on Israel/Palestinian issues, + less coverage of the landing by China on Mars of a spacecraft containing a Rover. The mission, launched in July 2020, is the first major step in China’s planetary exploration of the solar system.
The spacecraft “spent around nine minutes decelerating as it manoeuvred to avoid obstacles before its soft landing” Rover is 185m high + weighs 240kg. The Mars landing is part of a wider expansion of China’s space programme reflected in the launch in April 2021 of the first part of China’s permanent space station into the Earth’s orbit.
And the meaning? The US says that China intends to match + exceed US capabilities in space “to gain military, economic and prestige benefits that Washington previously has gained from space leadership”. The US is right. This landing is as important as China becoming the largest economy in the world.
The world is changing. The balance of power is changing. Future historians will be wiser in their interpretations of the present than current crop of political leaders + commentators. History is happening today. Significant changes are underway. Rover is part of the change.