The success of China’s first moon mission landing is to be greeted as a scientific victory. Placing a platform of instruments safely on the planetary surface has been achieved by only two other nations, the US and the former Soviet Union. As an illustration of its booming technological expertise, China could not have done better; however the vast investment indispensable to accomplish this goal raises a noticeable question: why travel to the moon at all?

There are numerous answers. For a start, the moon is rich in minerals that could one day provide us with key ingredients that have been depleted on Earth. The moon’s surface can also function as perfect place to test technologies needed to explore other, more distant worlds. These are both good reasons to make lunar missions, though neither was central to China’s incentives. Its prime goal was far simpler. It has shown the world and Asia in particular, that it is now an inclusive technological power. For a nation that has initiated to stretch its military muscles, its presence on another world perfectly unveils its national aptitude.

HIRA MUMTAZ,

Islamabad, December 17.