Most of the Space Research are conduct by astronomer with ground base telescopes, the physical exploration is carried out by both human spaceflight and unnamed robotic space probes.
The goal of space exploration is of advance scientific research, making different countries unite, and ensure survival of humanity for long duration.
1950s was driven by Space Race between United States and Soviet Union. Many nations have space agencies working under certain rules and policies.
More than 70 government space organizations and tons of private companies are recently engage in activities associate to space research. Some of them are away of others in terms of achievement, capabilities, and annual budget.
NASA (National Aeronautics and space administration)
NASA was formed in the year 1958. Its annual budget is $20.7 billion. NASA lead to peaceful exploration, making discoveries about earth, other planets, solar system, galaxies, and our universe.
NASA is an independent organization that is not a part of any executive department but reports directly to U.S. President.
Most of the space exploration have been done by NASA from its inception. It has explored skylab space station, reusable low Earth orbital spacecraft name Space Shuttle, spaceflight program and Apollo Moon Landing missions.
NASA’s four mission directorates:
- Aeronautics Research for developing advance aviation
- Studying origin and evolution of Earth, solar system, and the universe.
- Space Technology for developing space explorations technologies and space science.
- Human Exploration and operation dealing with management of manned space programs, including ISS, Launch-related missions, space communications and transportation.
NASA has successfully launch more than 200 manned flights, and currently is working on more than 70 missions.
CNSA (China National Space Administration)
CNSA is formed in 1993. The annual budget of CNSA is $11 billion. It is responsible for planning and implementing all space mission on national level, and signing government agreements related to space research.
Research Centre is not in contact with ISS. It has its own small space station. It also carries out regular launches by itself using family of expandable launch system named Long March.
From 2003, CNSA conduct many manned space missions and so far, 11 Chinese astronauts travel in space. In the year 2012, 3 astronaut crew abroad shenzhou 9 made first man spacecraft docking in space, attaching it to prototype space station Tiangong-1.
ESA (European Space Agency)
ESA (European Space Agency) was formed in the year 1975. Its annual budget is $7 billion. It is an international organization with 22 members, agency can manage activity and program impossible scope of any single European nation.
ESA is one of the major contributors to ISS. It is actively involving in unnamed exploration mission to moon and other planets, telecommunication, developing launch vehicle, and Earth observation.
Agency has own launch system, Ariane, which has gone through multiple generation of development over last four decades.
Satellites and equipment develop by ESA have visit different planets in solar system, including Mars Express, Cassini, which orbits Saturn and its moons until 2004.
Rosetta ESA’s space probe took close picture of comet 67P/Churyumov – Gerasimenko and send a lander to the surface. So Space telescope of ESA GAIA is currently mapping billions of astronomical objects with unprecedented accuracy.
Other projects include Venus Express that continuously sends data from polar orbit around Venus, LISA pathfinder study gravitational waves and James Webb Space Telescope (Led by NASA).
Agency works on the projects for Jupiter (Juice) and Mercury (BepiColombo), and other will observe energetic universe and study dark matter (Euclid). They are also developing next generation of their Galileo navigation satellite system.
Roscosmos (Russian Federal Space Agency)
Roscosmos was form in the year 1992. Its annual budget is $3.27 billion. It is also a coordinating hub for all kinds of space activities in Russia. Roscosmos conduct variety of civilian activities, including astronaut projects and monitoring Earth, and coordinates military launches with Defense Ministry of Russian Federation.
New Roscosmos state corporation is form by merging renationalize Russian space industry and United Rocket and space technologies long predates these events.
Between 1955 and 1965, its former Soviet Space Program rack up many world firsts including first artificial Earth Satellite Name Sputnik – 1 first man and woman in space first space flight to carry more than one crewman into orbit (Voskhod), and first spacecraft to reach vicinity of moon (Luna 1).
Roscosmos was form in a complete different era, right after termination of Soviet Union Program. Agency provides launch services to other nations, and perform various spacecraft mission of its own, such as Glosnass navigation satellites, telecommunication and military satellite. It is also putting a small proportion of resources into ISS.
It is currently working on ExoMars mission to find evidence of life on Mars – in collaboration with ESA. They are also developing a fully robotic lunar base (Luna-Glob) which is plan to be launch in early 2020s.
ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization)
ISRO was form in the year 1969. Its Annual Budget is $1.5 billion. ISRO harnesses space technology for national development while pursuing planetary exploration and space science research. They have carry out several major operations on both national and international level.
Agency maintains series of multipurpose geostationary satellites (INSAT) and remote sensing satellites (IRS) that fulfill nation’s growing demand for telecommunication and earth observation respectively.
It also develops application specific satellite tools and products to aid weather forecasts, navigation, geographic information systems, telemedicine, and search and rescue operations.
ISRO is famous for its cost – efficient and reliable launch systems. So India’s first Lunar probe was launch in the year 2008, using polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV-XL rocket). The estimate cost for project was only $54 million.
In the year 2014, they successfully sent spacecraft to Martian orbit in the very first attempt. So the total expenditure for this mission was $75 million, making the most cost-efficient Mars mission ever.
In the year 2017, ISRO made a world record for launching 104 satellites in one go, using PSLV-C37. Impressed by their progress, government increase ISRO’s annual budget by 23 percent.
Agency is moving forward with the development of reusable launch vehicles, single and also two stage to orbit vehicles, semi – cryogenic engines, and human spaceflight projects.