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Asia in space: a recent history

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Sailors have been using the stars to navigate the high seas for centuries. Actual space exploration, however, does not have a very long history. It began with the launch of the first satellite, Sputnik, on 4 October 1957 by the Soviet Union. During the last five or six decades humanity has made a significant amount of progress in the domain of space. There has been a constant human presence in outer space since 2000 with astronauts staying aboard the International Space station (ISS) in the low-Earth orbit.Since the 1970s, various Asian states have also started investing in space. States like Japan, China and India have made good progress with various conventional and innovative programmes. These states have definitely had the advantage of late starters. In the recent past particularly, in the Middle East region, states like Israel and Iran have made investments in space technologies essentially for strategic purposes.China and India became space-faring states during 1970 and 1980 resp...

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