The June 16 launch of the Shenzhou-9 marked a momentous milestone for the Chinese space program. While the US similarly celebrated a space achievement in May 2012 with the first docking of the privately-built Falcon 9/Dragon cargo vehicle and the International Space Station, the “hoopla” was far less. While hoopla admittedly isn’t everything, space achievements are a reflection of technological prowess, and hence strategic leadership.
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