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East Asia will shape future of outer space

Wednesday, February 22, 2023


A fourth, South Korea, may soon join them. The way these countries compete or cooperate in space -- with each other and with extra-regional actors, especially the United States -- will be a major factor shaping the development of human space activity in the years and decades ahead.


  • SpaceX is so far ahead that no Asian start-up can hope to catch up in the foreseeable future, but strong niche players could emerge.
  • South Korea has a small budget and lags far behind its larger neighbours, but its overall high-tech prowess improves its catch-up chances.
  • Satellites would play a central role in any future conflict between China and Taiwan, Japan, the United States or India.

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