A science instrument from India, slated to fly on a Chinese rocket to China’s Tiangong-3 space station, is now threatened by the military tensions between the two nations.
The project, called Spectrographic Investigation of Nebular Gas (SING), also involves collaboration with the [India] Institute of Astronomy [IIA], Russian Academy of Sciences, and has been designed and developed by research students at the IIA. The plan is to have it ready by the year end so that it can be launched in the summer of 2023. Though the plan is on schedule, scientists at the IIA are now consulting with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as well as the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on whether they are in the clear to go ahead with the project.
Chinese and Indian troops have been engaged in a prolonged stand-off in eastern Ladakh. The two sides have so far held 16 rounds of Corps Commander-level talks to resolve the stand-off, which erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake area.
It appears the Indian government is having second thoughts about this cooperative project. After decades of naive trust in the communists from both Russia and China, it seems India has finally realized the communists really have little interest in helping India, being more focused on using it for good PR while it steals Indian technology. Moreover, India now realizes that China has become a dangerous neighbor, willing to use its newfound power violently at the border between the two countries.
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