The European Space Agency's new launch vehicle, Ariane 6, is set for take-off next year. It’s full of innovative, cost-saving materials and technology. Work is already underway to make future iterations even lighter.
Four Mars missions, a new ESA rocket, a total solar eclipse, a close encounter of two planets as well as new spacecrafts heading for the International Space Station: 2020 has lots in store for space enthusiasts.
The ESA is to invest €14.4 billion ($15.8 billion) in space exploration including a moon mission up to 2022. Germany is now the largest contributor to the agency's biggest ever budget.
Europe's space program says it needs more funding to stay competitive internationally. Just as several projects are starting to take off, private space companies pose a particular threat to the agency.
India's staking its future — and that of its leader Narendra Modi — on a new space race 50 years after the first moon landing. So what's it got planned and can it compete in the major league: USA, Europe, Russia, China?
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