A Brief History
On June 14, 1962, the European Space Research Organisation was founded in Paris, later to become the European Space Agency, now with 22 member countries. While most focus is on the US and the Soviet/Russian space programs vis a vis the “Space Race,” other nations have joined in the endeavor to explore and exploit space.
As of April of 2023, only Russia, the US, and China have launched humans into space via their own vehicles, while the American private firm, SpaceX has joined the human space travel club.
Along with Russia, the US, and China, countries that have launched objects into space include the UK, Japan, France, India, Germany, Canada, and believe or not, Luxembourg! Several other countries have space programs and are developing their capabilities, including North and South Korea, Israel, Brazil, Ukraine, Iran, Italy, and Kenya, along with the European Space Agency.
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For more information, please see…
Van Maarseveen, Henri. The History of the European Space Agency: compact overview of ESA. Kindle, 2022.
Wilson, Andrew. European Space Agency: Achievement: More Than 30 Years of Pioneering Space Activity. European Space Agency, 2005.
You can also watch video versions of this article on YouTube.