China and India Blasted Off in 2008

News review 2008: Asia’s space race takes off
New Scientist

“While NASA struggled to maintain space capabilities it had acquired decades ago, newcomers China and India were progressing by leaps and bounds.

“September saw China’s first space walk when taikonaut Zhai Zhigang (in the centre of the picture, right) briefly ventured outside the Shenzhou-7 craft…

“India too raised its profile in space in 2008 with the launch of the Chandrayaan-1 moon probe, its first spacecraft to venture beyond Earth orbit. In November it joined two craft already orbiting the moon – not American, Russian or European, but Chinese and Japanese.”