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Space Organizations Part 2: U.S. Military, Foreign and Private - U.s. Military Space Programs, Space Agencies Around The World, Russia, Europe

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Outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, shall be free for exploration and use by all Nations

—United Nations Treaty of 1967

Although NASA is the best-known space organization in the world, it is not the only one. The U.S. military has an active space program that existed even before NASA was formed. Most modern military space ventures center around ballistic missiles and data-gathering satellites. These are unmanned projects. There are also many foreign governments with space programs. Chief among these is the Russian space program operated by an agency called Rosaviakosmos. The Russian agency continues the program begun by the Soviet Union decades ago. For about half of the twentieth century the Soviet Union engaged in a bitter Cold War rivalry for space supremacy with the United States. The Soviets would achieve many milestones in space ahead of the United States.

In 1991, the Soviet Union splintered into individual nations (including Russia) that were friendlier with the United States. Civilian space agencies in the United States and Russia struggled to carry on ambitious space programs as their funding was cut. They began working together on many space ventures. Eventually space programs sprang up in Europe, China, Japan, and other countries. This presented opportunities for new alliances in space.

Private organizations have also contributed greatly to the world's space programs. These organizations form when individuals interested in rocket science, physics, astronomy, space travel, or space commerce join together to further their ambitions.

Part 2 Space Organizations: U.S. Military, Foreign, and Private - U.s. Military Space Programs, Space Agencies Around The World, Russia, Europe [next] [back] Part 1 Space Organizations: NASA - A New Agency Is Born, Peaceful Versus Military Purposes, Nasa Shoots For The Moon, Space Science Suffers

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