Space Research (or sometimes called space exploration) is the scientific studies on earth’s outer space which involves advance material science, earth science, physics, mathematics, medicines and biology. There are numerous space organisations working on our planet to explore and find out the mysterious matters present in our space. Each organisation has certain rules and policies regarding their capacity to develop and money spend per year on each space research project. Most of them uses the far advanced tools and technology that has been not used for public yet. In order to find out more lets take a look at the list of top 10 Space Research Organisations in the world.
Recent Update: ISRO launches its longest flight of 4-stage PSLV on 12th January, 2018. This is ISRO’s 100th satellite launch. The rocket carries “Cartosat-2” series satellite that aims to provide high resolution scene of specific spot. It also carries 4 micro-satellites and 26 nano-satellites from India and six other countries. The total weight of 32 satellites is approximately 1,323 kilograms.
11. International Space Science Institute (Switzerland)
The International Space Science Institute (ISSI) is a nonprofit organisation established in 1995. It’s an advanced studies institute that primarily focused on planetary science, cosmology, solar system, earth science, astrophysics and Astrobiology. Visit to space, research and scientific activities allows them to develop advanced technologies too. The whole institute is under a foundation of Swiss law and supported by European Space Agency (ESA).
10. International Space University (France)
Image credit: wikimedia
The International Space University (ISU for short) is a non profit Interdisciplinary University established in 1987. They offer the best training in aerospace issues with groundbreaking facilities. Their experienced faculty members are one of space agency leaders, astronauts, space engineers, scientist and managers. The university also has space research capabilities in various fields of space engineering.
Few notable projects:
- Space for a Health Information Network on Earth
- Teleservice regarding Aircraft collision prevention
- Space based Progressive Interoperable Networks
- Space Assisted Network against Desertification
- Exploration of Mars from Martian Orbit
- Autonomous Lunar Transport Vehicle
- Mars Analog Path
9. Space Science and Engineering Center
Image credit: SSEC
Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC for short) is a research center that mainly focuses on geophysics research and atmospheric concentration and variability. It’s an integral part of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Graduate School. Apart from this, the institute has also contributed in Interactive computing, image processing, data access, Spaceflight hardware and fabrication areas.
- Atmospheric studies of Earth as well as other planets
- Space machine hardware development and fabrication
- Data access +Interactive computing + Image processing
8. Space Studies Institute (California)
It’s a non-profit organisation founded in 1977 by Gerard O’Neill from Princeton University. Their mission is to open the energy and material resources of space for human benefit within a lifetime. Space Studies Institute has some important research priorities such as a reusable propulsion system, low cost space access, usage of non terrestrial materials, etc. The institute has made a major contribution in Transport related mechanisms which is useful to understand the orbital movement of the plant and to counterbalance effect of polarization.
- Lunar Sodium Search
- Mass Driver Simulations
- Lunar Mining Simulation
- Processing Space Resources
- Human Rotation Tolerance
- Earth-Sun Trojan Asteroids
SpaceX is the first successful private space company, founded by Elon Musk in 2002. The company has recently gained a lot of popularity because of its low-cost rocket launch (making rockets reusable) and mars mission.
Since it’s a private company, their mode of funding, availability of resources, and ultimately their goals are different than other space organisations. When it comes to building satellites, SpaceX scores zero because they haven’t built any yet, and that is not even their objective.
Their primary aim is to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars. They have built the Falcon launch vehicle family and Dragon rocket-family, which both currently deliver payloads into Earth orbit. They are also trying very hard to send the first human to Mars by 2024.
Achievements till date:
- First privately funded liquid propellant rocket (Falcon 1) reached orbit in 2008
- First private company to send spacecraft to the ISS (Dragon in 2012)
- First propulsive landing for an orbital rocket (Falcon 9 in 2015)
- First successful reuse of an orbital rocket (Falcon 9 in 2017)
In 2017, SpaceX has been contracted by 2 private individuals to send them in Dragon on free return trajectory around the Moon. This might become the first lunar tourism by the end of 2018.
6. China National Space Administration
China National Space Administration (CNSA for short) is responsible for development and planning of space activities. It was established in 1983, headquartered in Beijing. The Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center is their primary spaceport. The overall yearly budget of experimentation is $1.3 billion. As of 2012, total 8 Chinese have traveled in space for various projects. FY 2011 and FY 2013 are the major project on which agency is working on.
- General Planning
- System Engineering
- Science, Technology and Quality Control
- Foreign Affairs
- Double Star Mission
- Kuafu mission satellites
- Beidou navigation system
- Space Based ASAT System
- Deep Impact-style mission
5. Indian Space Research Organisation
Photo credit: IndianExpress
ISRO (for short) is the Indian government space agency, stands for the Indian Space Research Organisation. It was established in 1969 and their motto is “space technology in the service of human kind.” The agency has conducted various major operations on national as well as international level. They launched first moon mission rocket named as Chandrayaan-1 for moon data exploration. Their overall year budget is $860 Million.
Moreover, on 24th September 2014, ISRO succeeds in sending spacecraft into Martian orbit on 1st attempt. The total expenditure for this mission was $75 million, making it the most cost-efficient Mars mission ever.
On February 15, 2017, ISRO launched 104 satellites in a single rocked named PSLV-C37 and made a world record. Of these 104 satellites, one is 714 kilogram main satellite for earth observation and 103 smaller “nano satellites” which weigh 664 kilogram combined. The government is pleased with ISRO’s progress and announced 23% raise in its annual budget.
On 5th June, they launched 640 ton GSLV Mk III rocket, carrying GSAT-19 communication satellite. The 141 foot rocket is allegedly as heavy as 200 full-grown Asian elephants. This mission takes India closer to the next generation launch vehicle and satellite capability.
- Crew vehicle development
- Technology demonstration
- Astronaut training and other facilities
- Chandrayaan-1: First mission to moon
- Mangalayaan: Mars Orbiter Mission
- Recently, they launched PSLV-C36 which deposited a record 104 satellites into space.
Read More: 9 Of The Biggest ISRO’s Future Missions
4. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Photo credit: Wikipedia
As the name suggests Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is Japan’s national aerospace working agency which was established in 2003 and headquartered in Chofu (Tokyo). It is responsible for technology development, research works, launch of a satellite into the orbit, asteroid data, moon exploration and many other advanced missions. Agency’s main motto is one i.e. Reaching for the skies, exploring space. The overall yearly budget for experimental work is $2.6 billion.
Earth observation projects:
- Advanced Land Observation Satellite
- Carbon dioxide monitoring
- Rainfall observation
- GCOM series
- Hayabusa: Small body exploration
- Lunar explorations
- Solar sail research
3. European Space Agency
Photo credit: wikimedia
European Space Agency (ESA) established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organisation under 20 European states. It has more than 2k employees and an annual budget of $5 Billion. Agency’s program includes exploration to another planet, moon, human spaceflight through international space station, science, earth observation, telecommunication, spaceport etc. The Ariane 5 operated thought Arianespace with ESA sharing the cost and further development.
- Observing the Earth
- Launch vehicle fleet
- Space Situational arrangement
- ESOC ground system engineering
- Telecommunication and integrated application
- COROT: Space telescope
- Mars Express: Space probe to Mars
- Venus Express: Space probe to Venus
- XMM Newton: X-ray observatory satellite
- Artemis: Most advanced telecommunication satellite
2. Russian Federal Space Agency
Image credit: wikimedia
Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos for short) is a Russian government space research agency and general aerospace research. It was established in 1992 and the overall yearly budget is $5.6 Billion. Some of their major projects are: return to the moon (2014), return to Venus (2016), GLONASS (group of 24 different satellites), new weather satellite, Angara launcher, Mars 500 simulation, etc. The Current mission on which agency is working on are Fobos (Mars mission), Luna (Moon orbiter) and Venera (Venus lander).
Major space missions:
- The Surface of Venus
- Manned Mission to Mars
- Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
- The First Space Passengers
- Sputnik: World’s first satellite
- Snowstorm: A Soviet Space Shuttle
- Multiple Cosmonauts aboard Voskhod
- Valeri Polyakov: Longest human spaceflight
Other works includes:
- Military satellites
- Earth observation
- Glosnass navigation satellites
- Advanced Telecommunications and integrated applcation
1. NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies
NASA Mars Rover Curiosity
There is no mystery in the question “who is the master of space research?”. We all know i.e. NASA only. National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the united states government agency. It was established in 1958 by Dwight Eisenhower. World’s most space research and exploration efforts have been held by NASA including Skylab, Space Shuttle and the most popular Apollo moon landing mission. The Agency primarily focuses on understanding the Earth by Earth observing system, Exploring bodies of the solar system, astrophysics such as the big bang, advanced robotics mission such as New Horizons. It also shares various experimental information with Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite organisation. NASA is also famous because of dealing with emergency during crucial times and has the possibilities and the power to prevent hazardous outcomes.
Notable space flight projects:
- Project Apollo
- Project Gemini
- Project Mercury
- X-15 rocket plane
- Apollo-Soyuz Test project
- Mars Exploration Rovers
- Mars Exploration Rovers
- Beyond Low Earth Orbit program
- Ulysses: Designed to study the Sun
- Galileo probe: To study Jupiter and its moons
- Telstar: commercial communication satellite project
- Pioneer program: designed for planetary exploration
- Discovery Program: Low cost project to study the solar system
- Mariner program: Design to investigate Mercury, Mars and Venus
- Infrared Astronomical Satellite: study entire sky at infrared wavelengths
- Surveyor program: sent seven robotic spacecraft to the surface of the Moon