India's space agency said on Monday an orbiting capsule had been successfully returned to Earth, marking a major step towards the development of a highly-prized manned space program.India, frickin' India, the world's largest exporter of bad tech support and long hold times, is planning on doing the Neil Armstrong by '08, and something tells me that they (and China) aren't spending a hojillion rupees on this just to leave a flag, a golf ball, and some footprints.
The capsule was blasted into space as one of four payloads on January 10 from a launch pad 60 miles north of the southern city of Chennai. It splashed down in the Bay of Bengal 11 days later, boosting plans for a lunar mission in 2008.
China's recent ASAT test is a reminder that the US military can't be complacent about us having a guaranteed superiority in space anymore, but the US government can prime the pump on the commercial side by getting out of the way; make space lucrative by offering tax incentives to the aerospace companies that are flirting with the commercialization of the high frontier. Like I said before, when I finally get to the space station, I want to be able to order a Big Mac, not just curried rice or kung pao chicken.