New International Space Race Heats Up

Michael Belfiore has an excellent roundup of the nations that are leading the way in the new international space race over at Popular Mechanics:

With a flurry of international efforts toward satellite launch capabilities (from home), getting back to the moon and putting citizens in space, some experts say we are looking at a new space race–one focused on total space dominance. And should we be worried? After all, the first space race had at its core a battle for who could build the biggest intercontinental ballistic missiles.

No doubt about it, says Henry Hertzfeld, research professor at George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute, “there are a lot of new starts.” But, he cautions that it’s important to put them in perspective. “There are different launch vehicles and different capabilities, too. Comparing a manned capability that India might want to spend some money on with Iran launching a very small, very low Earth orbit satellite is really apples and oranges.” Here is a look at the capabilities of the top–and most talked about–space-faring nations in what may be a new world order in which the race is on for space dominance.

The article examines activities in the United States, Europe, Russia, Japan, China, India, Iran and North Korea. It’s a succinct roundup of major developments in the field.