Scramble for space: What's fuelling frenzy of new missions?

THE DEBATE
THE DEBATE © FRANCE 24

Never since the 1960s has humanity been so fixated on the heavens. The countdown to Friday's launch of SpaceX's Dragon Crew from Cape Canaveral in Florida is just one small step on the road to returning to the Moon, manned trips to Mars and much more. We ask about this mission and the first Frenchman to return to space, Thomas Pesquet.

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We also ask what it's all about: a noble thirst for a knowledge or imperialism's new frontier? Just as the industrial revolution begat the scramble for Africa and the colonisation of vast swathes of Asia, the digital age comes with a scramble for the stars. It's not just about flag waving, there are also strategic partnerships between governments and private contractors. 

Note that Elon Musk's SpaceX offers reusable rocket launchers while separately engaged in a fierce battle to position its Starlink satellites in low-Earth orbit. Is it the case that whoever controls space also controls our planet?

Produced by Charles Wente, Juliette Laurain and Imen Mellaz.

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