Thursday, July 07, 2011

2011 - The World in Space

UPDATE: Atlantis lift-off on July 8, 11:30 local time.

U.S. space agency NASA announce their last space shuttle mission to take place on Friday this week. Space shuttle Atlantis will then take off for the final mission.

The United States, once leading in space research, are now being challenged by other countries, once regarded as rather poor developing nations. Here are the space contenders to the U.S.:

Russia $ 3.8 Billion Budget. / Responsible for 40% of all actual space launches. / Now in control of International Space Station ISS.

China $ 2 Billion Budget. / Carried out a manned space mission in 2003. / Plannings: Chinese Space Station, 2025 Man on Moon.

India $ 1.45 Billion Budget. / Carried out a Moon Mission in 2008. / Plannings: 2016 Man on Moon.

Brazil in Space

Brazilian astronaut Marcos Pontes (left) who took part in a mission to the International Space Station ISS in 2006, together with his Russian and U.S. colleagues whom he accompanied on a Russian spacecraft. Pontes came from a very poor Brazilian worker's family and had already to work at the age of 14. Now, he's a national hero.

China on its Way to Mars

"Mars - We are steadily getting closer".

Below: A shortcut of the actual Chinese Mars project, using the homebuilt "Glowworm" measuring device. The Glowworm project makes part of an international programm, called Mars 500. On some of the planned missions from 2011 to 2018, China and Russia are working together. [Click to the below picture for a better resolution of the Chinese text.]

Frozen Ocean on Mars - recorded by ESA's device "Mars Express".

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