As New Space Powers Emerge, NASA More Unreliable as Partner

Four-image NAVCAM mosaic of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, using images taken on Sept. 24, 2014 when Rosetta was 28.5 km from the comet (ESA photo).
Four-image NAVCAM mosaic of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, using images taken on Sept. 24, 2014 when Rosetta was 28.5 km from the comet (ESA photo).
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When the European Space Agency (ESA) successfully landed the spacecraft Philae on a comet last week, it accomplished something once thought to be the sole purview of the superpowers. In truth, the ESA—a consortium of 20 formal members—highlights a well-established and accelerating trend: Whereas space was once beyond the reach of all but the United States and the Soviet Union, recent decades have witnessed the spread and maturing capabilities of new space powers around the world. While the United States has reasons to be concerned with that shift related to national security, it also has cause to celebrate, as promoting […]

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