New Space Race

August 4, 2017 – Volume 27, Issue 28
Is the U.S. falling behind Russia and China? By Patrick Marshall


1957–1969United States, Soviet Union compete for space firsts.
1957Soviet Union launches unmanned Sputnik satellite into orbit, fueling urgency of U.S. space program development.
1958National Aeronautics and Space Act creates NASA and directs the Pentagon to manage military space activities.
1961President John F. Kennedy announces plan to send astronauts to the moon before the end of the decade and increases NASA's budget request by 89 percent.
1962U.S. launches its first astronaut, Marine Lt. Col. John Glenn, into orbit.
1967U.N. Outer Space Treaty bans weapons of mass destruction in space and limits use of the moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes.
1969U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong walks on the moon.
1970–1980U.S. pares space budgets.
1970President Richard M. Nixon sharply reduces NASA's budget.
1972Nixon announces development of a new reusable space vehicle, the space shuttle, to deliver astronauts and satellites into orbit for less money.
1972U.S. launches the Apollo program's final human mission to the moon.
1973First crewmembers arrive at SkyLab, America's first space station.
1981–2010The space shuttle era brings successes, tragedies.
1981U.S. launches Columbia, the first space shuttle, into orbit.
1984The Commercial Space Launch Act aims to increase the private sector's role in space programs.
1986Space shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after liftoff, killing all seven crewmembers.
1988Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act requires companies to buy commercial insurance for launches.
1998Congress requires NASA to take steps to commercialize space activities…. First pieces of International Space Station are launched into orbit.
2003Space shuttle Columbia disintegrates during re-entry, killing all seven crew members.
2004President George W. Bush unveils Constellation Program — to take humans back to the moon and to Mars.
2007China destroys one of its own weather satellites to test an antisatellite weapon.
2008-PresentPrivate sector's role in space grows.
2008On its fourth try, SpaceX launches a rocket into orbit. The company's first successful launch of a commercial payload follows in July 2009.
2010President Barack Obama cancels the Constellation Program and directs NASA to plan for sending astronauts to an asteroid by 2015 and into Mars orbit by the mid-2030s…. NASA awards almost $50 million to five U.S. companies working with the agency to develop a replacement for the space shuttle as part of the Commercial Crew Program.
2015Aerospace companies book $2.6 billion in revenues, launching 83 payloads into orbit.
2016NASA's Juno probe reaches Jupiter…. SpaceX's reusable Falcon 9 rocket lands upright on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
2017President Trump proposes reducing NASA's budget 3 percent, with the largest cuts coming from programs that study the Earth's surface and climate.

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Document APA Citation
Marshall, P. (2017, August 4). New space race. CQ researcher, 27, 653-676. Retrieved from
Document ID: cqresrre2017080404
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ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Space Exploration
Aug. 04, 2017  New Space Race
Jun. 20, 2014  Search for Life On New Planets
Feb. 24, 2012  Space Program
Aug. 16, 2011  Weapons in Space
Oct. 16, 2009  Human Spaceflight
May 23, 2003  NASA's Future
Jul. 23, 1999  New Challenges in Space
Apr. 25, 1997  Space Program's Future
Dec. 24, 1993  Space Program's Future
Mar. 29, 1991  Uncertain Future for Man in Space
Jul. 31, 1987  Space Race
Feb. 07, 1986  Space Decisions after Challenger
Feb. 18, 1983  American Options in Space
Nov. 10, 1978  Changing U.S. Space Policy
Jul. 04, 1975  Cooperation in Space
Mar. 15, 1972  Space Shuttle Controversy
Oct. 01, 1969  Mission to Mars: Benefits Vs. Costs
Nov. 13, 1968  Goals in Space
Jun. 29, 1966  Future of Space Exploration
May 08, 1963  Moon Race Controversy
Jun. 27, 1962  Peaceful Use of Outer Space
Nov. 01, 1961  Space Exploration
Dec. 09, 1959  National Space Policy
Feb. 19, 1958  Control of Outer Space
Arms Control and Disarmament
Congress Actions
General Defense and National Security
General International Relations
Powers and History of the Presidency
Space Sciences and Exploration
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