The North Koreans have been trying to master this craft and have quite a number of successes. But not every North Korean rocket flies as expected. Quite a number would not make it. The South Koreans are still unable to send a rocket flying to space. The Japanese are more successful but still have no confidence to send their astronauts up in their own rockets.
The Indians too is advancing in this field, launching satellites and would soon be sending their astronauts to space. The Russians are still ahead, steadily sending their astronauts to their space station when needed.
Where are the Americans? Never heard of the NASA sending their astronauts to their space station anymore. The last heard, they hitched a ride on a Russian rocket. What happened to the American space programme? Shelved? Mothballed?
Yes, the Americans have shelved their space programme for the time being but not giving up. The American space programme budget is US40b compares to the Chinese US$13b. But they are unable to fly their rockets for the time being. The last few they launched flew for a few minutes and went boomed, killing all the astronauts in them. The Americans did not seem to have confidence in their rockets any more.
Ever since they exchanged the Father of American Rocketry for a few American prisoners in China in the 1950s, they were unable to improve on their rocket technology. The rocket technology that works is in China, was brought to China inside the head of America’s Father of Rocketry, Qian Xueshen. The Americans would have to find another scientist to help them build rockets that can fly and not go kaboomed on launched. Launching rockets safely into space is now second nature to the Chinese space programme while the Americans still did not have a clue how to get this right.
Qian Xueshen is also the Father of China’s rocketry and space programme. He made it all happened, built a strong foundation for China to take the leap forward in space technology and exploration.