The Final Frontier

Space Agencies

Mission Control

China National Space Administration (CNSA)

CNSA is the national space agency of the People's Republic of China. Created in 1993, it is responsible for the national space program and for planning and development of space activities. The headquarters are in Haidian District, Beijing.

As of 2013, ten Chinese nationals have traveled in space, their astronauts are known as taikonauts.

European Space Agency (ESA)

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space. Established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris, France, ESA has a worldwide staff of about 2,000 and an annual budget of about €5.25 billion (2016).

ESA's space flight programme includes human spaceflight (mainly through participation in the International Space Station programme).

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)

Formed in 1969, ISRO is the space agency of the Government of India, headquartered in the city of Bengaluru.

ISRO launched a lunar orbiter in 2008 (Chandrayaan-1). In 2013 it launched a Mars orbiter (Mars Orbiter Mission) which successfully entered Mars orbit on 24 September 2014. This made ISRO the fourth space agency in the world, as well as the first space agency in Asia, to successfully reach Mars orbit.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

JAXA is Japan's national aero-space agency. Its headquarters in Tokyo, JAXA was formed in 2003 through the merger of previous organizations.

JAXA is responsible for research, technology development and the launch of satellites into orbit, and is involved in many more advanced missions, such as asteroid exploration and possible manned exploration of the Moon.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

NASA was established in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation, encouraging peaceful applications in space science. NASA successes have included the Apollo Moon landing missions, the Skylab space station, the Space Shuttle and supporting the International Space Station.

NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System (with advanced robotic spacecraft missions such as New Horizons), and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang.

Roscosmos (RFSA)

Roscosmos is the governmental body responsible for the space science program of Russia, and general aerospace research. Established in 1992, it was formerly the Soviet Space Program (ca. 1955–1991).

The headquarters of Roscosmos are located in Moscow. The Launch facilities used are Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Due to International Space Station involvements, up to 50 percent of Russia's space budget is spent on the manned space program (2009).