India’s test of a new rocket engine had to be stopped early according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) while Aviation Week’s Beijing correspondent Bradley Perrett scores a scoop with Chinese Moon rocket planning

Talking to the Chinese in October last year in Korea it was clear that manned Moon mission planning was at a very early stage. Now they seem to have scoped out broadly what they want and its surprising that they are seeking a Moon rocket with less capabilty than NASA’s Saturn V

What is more interesting for the nearer term is the Long March 6. It sounds like the European Space Agency’s Vega, a solid rocket motor based vehicle for small payloads. The Long March 5, which comes into operation around 2015, was described to this blogger years ago by a China National Space Administation official as being just like Europe’s Ariane 5. So one has to conclude that the Chinese are following the same launcher family logic as the western Europeans

The Indians, despite the engine setback, are still planning big things and this article talks about Avatar, the country’s concept reusable launch vehicle not the 3D movie, and ISRO’s chief talks up a fantastic future out to 2050 here