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The U.S. used to only compete with Russia, but now has multiple other nations to deal with

The U.S. is losing ground to competing space agencies as Europe, China, Russia and Japan continue to make progress in their space programs.  Even though the U.S. still has the most military satellites monitoring Earth, both commercial and civilian space initiatives are severely lacking when compared to its international counterparts.

There are several contributing factors into the decline of the U.S. space agency, though immediate fixes are not evident.  Even though NASA has a long string of success, the unfortunate shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003, budget issues, and the looming 2010 retirement of the current generation of space shuttles are all complicating matters.

"We spent many tens of billions of dollars during the Apollo era to purchase a commanding lead in space over all nations on Earth," NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said.  "We've been living off the fruit of that purchase for 40 years and have not ... chosen to invest at a level that would preserve that commanding lead."

Although Russia has been a long-time competitor to NASA, the Chinese space agency and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have continued to make steady progress with its intended goals.

Along with multiple missions to Mars, China is preparing for stage two of a three-part mission to the moon.  The first step in the plan, which is ongoing, included sending a satellite to orbit the moon.  The second step proposes launching a lunar lander before 2010, and the third step involves collecting soil samples from the moon in the next 12 years.

The Chinese space program also has its first spacewalk scheduled for October. Griffin admits China will likely beat the U.S. and other nations back to the moon.

India also has a developing space program that may not have the type of budget of larger space programs, but the country still has had success launching smaller missions that have shown good results.  Its most recent success was a satellite launch in which 10 satellites launched into orbit aboard one rocket.

The U.S. space agency does have its own mission outline for the next 12 years, but may struggle to meet its goals if the Orion crew vehicle is not completed on time in 2015.

NASA used to be responsible for sending other nations' satellites into orbit, but now Russia, India, and China are the three main nations responsible for helping Israel, Brazil, Singapore and the ESA launch satellites into space.



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RE: What do Americans realistically expect?
By Boze on 7/17/2008 5:35:13 PM , Rating: 2
You're getting nothing out of this because you're trying to make extravagant claims under the false assumption that DailyTech is filled with moron readers who will actually believe and/or accept your viewpoint, even when its glaringly incorrect.


By Clauzii on 7/21/2008 1:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
Incorrect? How?

"1990: Tim Berners-Lee invents the Web

In 1989, CERN scientist Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal to develop a distributed information system for the Laboratory. “Vague, but exciting” was the comment that his boss wrote on the cover, and with those words, gave the green light to an information revolution.

Conceived and developed to meet the demand for information sharing between scientists all over the world, the Web has changed the way we live.

By Christmas 1990, Berners-Lee had defined the Web’s basic concepts, the URL, http and html, and he had written the first browser and server software. The Web was up and running.
The Web extends

In 1991, an early Web system was released to the particle physics community. Slowly but surely the Web began to spread through the academic world as a wide range of universities and research laboratories started to use it. The first web server in the United States came on-line in December 1991 at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in California. In 1993, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois released its Mosaic browsers, which were easy to run and install on ordinary PCs and Macintosh computers. The steady trickle of new Web sites soon became a flood. 1994 became the year of the Web. The world’s First International World-Wide Web conference was held at CERN in May and was hailed as the ‘Woodstock of the Web’.
Open to all

By the end of 1994, the Web had 10 000 servers, of which 2000 were commercial, and 10 million users. Traffic was equivalent to shipping the collected works of Shakespeare every second. CERN issued a statement putting the Web into the public domain, thereby ensuring that it would remain an open standard, and Berners-Lee moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), from where he runs the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)."


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