The Big Three Government Space Agencies Responsible for Manned Space Missions

There are currently 71 government space agencies around the world, each striving for progress in space exploration and research. 11 of these agencies have launch capability, while just three have succeeded in the field of human spaceflight: Russian Federal Space Agency (RFSA), China National Space Administration (CNSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The China National Space Administration

The CNSA is a branch of SASTIND – the State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence – which is, in turn, a branch of MIIT – the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. It is a relatively young agency, created in 1993 as one half of the split of the Ministry of Aerospace Industry, with the other half now known as the China Aerospace Corporation. The CNSA has sent a total of 10 astronauts into space.

The Russian Federal Space Agency

The RFSA, also known as the Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities, is the Russian entity pioneering research in outer space for their nation. When they were still the former Soviet Space Program, they achieved a number of great ‘firsts’ in their field; they were the first to send an animal into orbit in 1957, the first to send a human into space in 1961, and later the first to send a woman on a spaceflight in 1963.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA is the most talked about space agency of them all. Established by President Eisenhower in 1958, after the passing of the National Aeronautics and Space Act, NASA has since been responsible for the vast majority of all space exploration carried out in the United States. They created history in 1968 when they successfully engineered the Apollo 11 Moon landing, catapulting astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to fame with the tagline ‘one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’.

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