Top 10 Space Agencies
Space is a subject that intrigues the curiosity of every nation in the world; because of this, almost every country is curious to know more about space. Humans have always been fascinated by space research and studies. Due to this, humans have created many space agencies to know about the secrets of the world of space and science.
In this modern world, just as the game of competition is going on the earth. In the same way, every country is also eager to know everything about space. The majority of nations now have their space agencies and research centers. Today 72 countries have their space agency. However, only a few space agencies throughout the world are well known. In this article, we will talk about the top 10 space agencies.
Top 10 Space Agencies
As we know, more than 50 countries worldwide have space agencies. But it is impossible to know about more than 50 space agencies in one article. So, let us take a look at the top 10 most popular space agencies globally.
1. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
NASA is a US-based organization that was established in 1958. And since then till today, it has achieved many great achievements in cosmology. There are no other space agencies better or more popular than NASA in space research. According to a fact, when a survey of people from various countries was conducted to determine which space agencies they are familiar with, it was discovered that NASA is the only space agency that people are aware of.
NASA has made a lot of success in the last few years. NASA is the only space agency that has visited completely undiscovered planets like Jupiter and Saturn in 1972. Apart from this, NASA is also one of the first space agencies that showed the world outside the solar system to our human civilization. NASA's most famous space research program includes Hubble Space Telescope, Viking 1, Chandra X-ray Observatory, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, Skylab, space shuttle, Apollo, etc.
NASA has made the world aware of mega-structures like cosmic bodies, uncountable galaxies, star clusters, supernova, nebula, etc. And somewhere, if we know today that there is also a different world outside this earth or solar system, then most of its credit goes to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. America is the first country to land the first man on the moon. There are currently several NASA missions underway. The annual budget of NASA is $22.6 billion.
2. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
ISRO is one of the top space agencies in the world. ISRO was established in 1969, even before Russian and China space agencies. So, India had space technology even before countries like China and Russia. The Indian space agency has also discovered water on the moon. In 2008, due to Chandrayaan 1 mission, ISRO proved that water is available on the moon in ice form.
By launching 104 satellites into space with a single rocket (PSLV-C37), ISRO set a new world record in 2017. SpaceX later broke this record. India's space agency successfully landed its spacecraft on Mars in the first attempt. Even a space agency like NASA took 2 attempts to soft-land its spacecraft on Mars. But Indian space agency ISRO successfully landed its spacecraft on Mars in the first attempt. On the first try, India's ISRO had successfully achieved its first Mars mission, Mangalyaan 1, in a budget of only $ 75 million.
India is the 4th country that did a soft landing on the Moon, and Indian astronaut Rakesh Sharma was the first Indian to travel in space. ISRO has a PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket which is one of the best launch vehicles in the world. The annual budget of this space agency is $1.5 billion.
3. China National Space Administration (CNSA)
CNSA is one of the most popular and most successful space agencies globally. This administration was established in 1993, thirty-six years after establishing NASA. From 1993 till today, CNSA has done an excellent job exploring space. CNSA has sent many spacecraft and satellites into space.
There are about 4500 satellites in space, and only CNSA has sent 412 out of 4500 satellites in space. China sent its space station named Tiangong-1 in space in 2011. China has sent 11 astronauts to space. The China National Space Administration successfully made the first soft landing on the moon in 2014, using Change 3 as its first robotic lunar lander and rover. CNSA has also made many plans for the future. As per a report, in 2029-2030, China is also preparing to send such a spacecraft in space that will capture Jupiter and Saturn images closely and send some more useful information. The annual budget of CNSA is $8.9 billion.
4. Russian Federal Space Agency (RFSA)
RFSA is a Russian space organization. RFSA is popularly known as Roscosmos. Russian Federal Space Agency was established in 1992, one year before China National Space Administration. And since 1993, there has always been competition between Russia and China. Russia is the first country to launch animals into space, and Russia is also the first country that sent the first female astronaut into space, Valentina Tereshkova.
There are many successful missions of this space agency. Russia is the first country that brought the moon's soil to the Earth. Sputnik-1, the world's first artificial satellite, was launched by Russia in 1957. And spacecraft Luna 1 was the first spacecraft that went very close to the moon's surface. GLONASS is also the mission of RFSA in which RFSA launched 24 satellites at a time. Roscosmos is currently working on the ExoMars mission, which aims to find evidence of life on Mars, in collaboration with the European Space Agency. The annual budget of RFSA is $3.37 billion.
5. European Space Agency (ESA)
This space agency is a multi-government organization. It was founded in 1975 by a group of 20 European countries. The annual budget of this space agency is $7.43 billion. ESA's headquarter is in Paris. ESA has done many missions or projects, such as the Venus mission, Rosetta mission, Mars mission, Corot space telescope mission, etc.
One famous project of ESA is Venus Express. ESA had made such a spacecraft that could go very close to the other planet in our solar system, and the sun's rays cannot affect it. Venus Express is a spacecraft that went very close to Venus and gave a lot of information. This spacecraft was launched in November 2005. But in 2014, Europe lost contact with this satellite.
European Space Agency will launch a very interesting mission, and its name will be Ariel Space Mission. The main purpose of this mission is to get information about all the exoplanets. At present, ESA plans to create the world's first space junk collector. The main aim of ESA is to bring the space debris gathered in space to Earth. The name of this mission is ClearSpace-1.
6. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
The Japanese government's national space agency is known as JAXA. It was established in 2003, and its headquarters is in Tokyo. By the way, Japan's interest in space started only after World War 2. But for many years, Japan had no space agency; then, in 1969, Japan signed the Outer Space Treaty, and on October 1, 2003, the JAXA was formed when three organizations merged. Japan's Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL), and the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NSDAJ) were the first, second, and third organizations, respectively.
In 1969, Japan failed in its first satellite mission, but in 1970 Japan launched its first satellite. JAXA became popular when it launched Hayabusa Mission. Hayabusa 1 was launched in the year 2003. This mission aimed to know about Asteroid Ryugu, located 300 million km away from Earth. But Hayabusa 1 was not successful, and for this reason, JAXA launched Hayabusa 2 in 2014. JAXA is currently working on the Human Space Program and reusable launch vehicles and working to send a human-robot to the Moon. The annual budget of JAXA is $2.6 billion.
7. Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX)
SpaceX is the first private space research company in the world. Elon Musk, a well-known businessman, founded it in 2002. The main objective of SpaceX is to reduce the cost of going to space. The headquarters of this space agency is in Hawthorne, California.
NASA is considered the number one space agency globally, But NASA has not been able to make such a rocket to date, which comes back to the earth from space and can be re-used. But a private space company founded in 2002 did this. Apart from this, SpaceX is also working on its Starship rocket mission, whose configuration is similar to NASA's best rocket space launch system. SpaceX is the only space company that makes private rockets.
SpaceX also made a new world record. SpaceX has set the record for sending 143 satellites in space simultaneously. This work has been done with a rocket named Falcon 9. All these satellites were sent to space from Florida, America. Most of these satellites are commercial, and some are government satellites. Earlier, this record was made by ISRO of India.
8. National Centre for Space Studies (France)
The Space Agency of France was established in the year 1961. Its headquarters are in Paris. This space agency is also known as CNES. Centre national d'études spatiales is the full form of CNES, which is in the french language. After Russia's Soviet space program and America's National Aeronautics and Space Administration, CNES is the world's third-oldest space agency.
CNES offers the best aerospace training in the world. The French Ministry of Defense and Research oversees the CNES. The annual budget of CNES is $2.43 billion. The French space agency collaborates with Germany and other governments space agencies to develop a methane-powered reusable launch vehicle. The main goal of this project is to drastically reduce the cost and time it takes to refurbish reusable rockets.
In collaboration with the Indian Space Agency (ISRO), the French Space Agency launched the Megha-Tropiques satellite. The main aim of this mission is to study the tropical atmosphere's water cycle in the context of climate change. In October 2011, Megha-Tropiques was successfully launched into orbit with the help of a PSLV rocket. France's space agency will work on some missions in collaboration with India's space agency in the future. This mission or project starts in 2025.
9. German Aerospace Center (DLR)
This space agency is considered one of the oldest agencies in the world. This space agency was founded in the year 1969. Space, Transportation, Aeronautics, Security, Digitalization, and Energy are all areas in which the German Aerospace Center works. The headquarters of this space agency is in Cologne. DLR also serves as Germany's space agency, so the German Aerospace Center conducts missions, plans, and implements the space program on behalf of the German government.
Low carbon dioxide power generation, solar thermal power generation technologies, ultra-efficient, and renewable energy sources are areas where this space agency is currently working. In the future, the German Aerospace Center will conduct research in satellite development, propulsion technology, and space mission concepts. Some major projects of this space agency include the Mars Express mission, global navigation satellite system Galileo, and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. The annual budget of the German Aerospace Center is $2.55 billion.
10. Italian Space Agency (ASI)
Italian Space Agency was established in 1988, and the headquarters of this space agency is in Rome. Today this space agency is one of the top 10 space agencies globally. This space agency has also worked on many major space exploration projects in collaboration with many space agencies such as Mars Express, Venus Express, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Juno, Cassini-Huygens, and XMM-Newton. The annual budget of this Space Agency is $2.1 billion. The Italian Space Agency launched its first satellite, BeppoSAX, in 1996. The Italian Space Agency is currently working on a project named Arian 5 with ESA (European space agency).