chapter  3
First tier space actors: Launching BRICs into space
Pages 51

Since the end of the Cold War, the gap between the ambitions, achievements, and relative power of developed and developing states has begun to narrow in a number of important areas, including economic performance and influence in the international system. And while the space activities of the Cold War period were dominated by the United States and the Soviet Union, the post-Cold War period has seen the space programs of developing countries begin to approach, in some areas, the capabilities of these space superpowers. Since the late 1980s, a few of the most advanced emerging space actors (EMSAs), such as China and India, are able to accomplish many of the basic functions in launch services, satellite construction, and basic space science that were previously the sole domain of the superpowers. Many other developing countries have embarked on space programs, albeit on a smaller scale, and an increasing number of developing countries, convinced that the hallmark of national space capability is the ability to utilize space-based resources, are now developing launch vehicles, launch sites, and associated support satellite services. Further, a multitude of other developing countries have laid out space policies that are largely cooperative with more capable space actors. Regardless of their demonstrated or aspired capabilities, an increasing number of developing countries now patently embraced space activities as an integral part of their developmental and national security policies.