While the present U. S. administration and U. S. Space agency NASA are for cooperation with India in space exploration, the U. S. Presidential candidate Barack Obama is for competition.
While the White House and the U. S. suppliers hailed India’s entry into the Lunar Orbit, Mr. Obama told a public gathering that the U. S. should take increasing competence of India and China in space exploration seriously and spur up its space programme to keep the lead.
“As President, I will lead our space programme boldly into the 21st century – so when my daughters, and all our children, look up to the skies, they see Americans leading the way into the deepest reaches of our solar system,” Mr. Obama said stressing the need to revitalise U. S. space programme.
Whether this is election rhetoric and a position that would yield to business interests, once he is in power, is a million dollar question. In any case, a space deal with the United States after nuclear deal would be more difficult if Mr. Obama comes to power. Besides, India has signed up with Russia for supply of some crucial equipment for Chandrayaan II. (My earlier post on the subject stands amended thus.)
It is notable that while the White House described the successful launch of the Moon mission as exciting and encouraging for India, the United States India Business Council celebrated India’s debut on a Moon mission that carries two US instruments on board. The Council, representing 280 of the largest US companies investing in India, described the mission as the beginning of long “relationship promoting the opening of the frontier of outer space.”
American supplier of defence and space equipments Raytheon supplied some of the instrumentation for Chandrayaan.