A space organization is defined as authorities, bodies and associations of public authorities, persons, undertakings and entities involved in the exploration and/or exploitation of space for civil or military purposes.
The list of space agencies details the main characteristics of national or supranational organizations, dedicated to the management of space activity. It brings together the development of launchers, the study of the space environment, the exploration of the solar system, the observation of the Earth, astronomy, cosmology, telecommunications and space weather, space technology, flights inhabited, etc.
Which space agencies are considered the best in the world? Below is the list of government's major space agencies engaged in activities related to outer space and space exploration.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the US government responsible for the space program civil as well as research aviation and aerospace. In 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower founded the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with a strong civil rather than military orientation, promoting the peaceful applications of space science. On July 29, 1958 approved the National Aeronautics and Space Act (National Law Aeronautics and Space Administration), thus destabilizing the forerunner of NASA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). On October 1 of that year the new agency began to operate. Since then most of the efforts of space exploration in the United States have been led by NASA missions including Apollo of landing on the moon, the space station Skylab and later the space shuttle.
The Federal Space Agency of Russia, commonly known as Roscosmos, is a state corporation responsible for the program Space flight and cosmonaut for the Russian Federation. Originally as part of the Federal Space Agency, the corporation evolved and consolidated in the national state corporation on December 28, 2015 through a presidential decree. Before since 1992, Roscosmos was known as the Russian Aviation and Space Agency. The Roscosmos headquarters are located in Moscow, while the main space center of Mission Control is located in the nearby city of Koroliov. The Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center is located in the City of Stars, also in the Moscow Oblast. The launching facilities used are the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan (with most of the launches taking place there, both manned and unmanned), and the Vostochny Cosmodrome is being built in the Russian Far East in the Amur Oblast.
The China National Space Administration (CNSA) is the National Space Agency of the People's Republic of China. It is responsible for the research, development and launch of space technologies. As an emerging world power, China has large space ambitions and is already one of the few countries to have achieved a space walk. The agency was created in 1993, separating from the aerospace agency. In 2003 it became the third agency to send a man into space. In 2007 it launched their first mission to the Moon.
The astronautic initiatives developed by the USSR from 1957 until the time of its dissolution in 1991 are included under the label of the Soviet space program. Russian space ambitions began in the 19th century, had their first theoretical studies at the beginning of the 20th century and developed mainly during the Cold War in the Soviet Union. The Soviets were pioneers in the space race by being the first to launch a satellite into Earth's orbit, Sputnik 1, in sending a living being into space, the bitchLaika, to a human being, Yuri Gagarin, and the first woman, Valentina Tereshkova, on a spacewalk, Alekséi Leónov, in sending the first woman who made a spacewalk, Svetlana Savítskaya, in orbiting a space station, the Saliut, and in launching the first interplanetary probes to Mars, Mars 1, and Venus, Venera 1.
The European Space Agency is an international organization dedicated to space exploration, with 22 member states. It was incorporated on May 31, 1975. Employs about 2000 people (excluding subcontractors) and has a budget of 5600 million Euros for the year 2018. The ESA headquarters are in Paris, France, although ESA structures are much decentralized. ESA is made up of twenty two member states: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland. In the coming years it is likely that many of the countries that joined the EU after enlargement in 2004 become part also ESA.
The Indian Space Research Organization, abbreviated to ISRO, is the counterpart of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The ISRO was founded in 1969, with inspiring power, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai. The organization has its headquarters in Bangalore and employs around 20,000 people. The launch base of ISRO is the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, where all Indian satellites are launched. Since August 2018, ISRO has been actively developing a manned space capsule called Gaganyaan under the Indian Human Spaceflight program. This capsule should in the future put three people in orbit and be launched by a GSLV mkIII. A number of techniques for manned space travel have already been developed as an experiment.
JAXA was created on 1 of October of 2003 by the union of the National Space Development Agency (NASDA), the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL) and the Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science (ISAS). The first Japanese mission under JAXA was the launch of an H-2A rocket, which occurred in November 2003, ending in failure. After a period of 15 months, in February 2005, JAXA launched an H-2A rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center, putting a satellite into orbit. Due to international efforts in 2005, JAXA plans to carry out its own space missions, including proposing a manned mission to the Moon. In 2003 Japan launched a mission called Hayabusa with the MV rocket to collect samples of an asteroid, arriving at the asteroid in the second half of 2005, but having serious failures. In 2007 it launched the lunar probe SELENE. The next interplanetary missions are planned for 2010, with a probe to Venus, the PLANET-C probe, and another to the Moon, the LUNAR-A probe.
The ASI is the acronym for the Italian Space Agency. This organization was created in 1988 in order to promote and direct activities in the space of Italy. The ASI depends governmentally on the Ministry of Science and Technology and participates in completely own projects and in joint international missions with the NASA and ESA agencies. On February 24, 2007, ASI launched the Castor Shuttle from the Unmanned Space Vehicle program with the Italian Aerospace Research Center, an uninhabited space capsule, 9.2 meters long, weighing 1.2 tonnes. This shuttle flew over the Mediterranean Sea for 70 seconds. It was hoisted by a balloon up to the stratospheric altitude of 31,000 meters. This mission simulated the re-entry into the ship's atmosphere and aims to develop a reusable shuttle for scientific and commercial purposes. A dozen launches were scheduled until 2010 for Castor and its more advanced twin Pollux.
The CNES is a public industrial and commercial (EPIC) to develop and propose to the French Government the French space program and implement it. CNES has a budget of 2,438 billion Euros in 2018, which remains the largest in Europe (38 to 39 Euros per capita in 2018). It includes the share donated to the European Space Agency, of which CNES is the largest contributor (965 million Euros in 2018), which is devoted essentially to scientific missions (astronomy, exploration of the solar system, study of the Earth) and investments in launchers.
The Korea Aerospace Research Institute known worldwide as KARI, is the space agency and aeronautical South Korea, was founded on October 10, 1989. Its financing is provided by the Government of South Korea. Its function is the research, development and dissemination of aerospace and aviation technology in the country. Its facilities are located in Daejeon. In 1990 the development of own rockets began, producing the KSR-1 and the KSR-2, one and two stages. In 1997, the development of a LOX/kerosene rocket engine began. In 2002 it launched a test KSR-3 rocket. The 2003 budget is 150 million dollars.