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Space Programs

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Algeria

Key activities, programs, and milestones:  first remote sensing (RS) satellite (Alsat-1A) built jointly with the UK and launched on a Russian rocket, 2002; announced a national space program, 2006; first Algerian designed and built RS satellites (Alsat-2A and 2B) launched by India, 2010 and 2016; first communications satellite (Alcomsat-1) built jointly with and launched by China, 2017; announced a 2040 national space plan, 2017

Government spending: estimated $100 million (2022)

Angola

Key activities, programs, and milestones:  Angola satellite ground control mission center announced operational, 2016; announced a national space strategy, 2017; first communications satellite (AngoSat-1) built, launched, and operated by Russia, 2017 (satellite failed in 2018); took the lead in the development of a Southern Africa Development Community satellite data sharing program, 2020-present; second communications satellite (AngoSat-2) with French-built payload and integrated and launched by Russia, 2022; signed US-led Artemis Accords, 2023

Government spending: estimated $30 million (2021)

Argentina

Key activities, programs, and milestones:  first rocket (Alfa Centauro) launched, 1961; first country in Latin America to send an animal into space, 1967; continued developing multi-stage sounding (research) rockets for military purposes until program cancelled in 1991; initiated a satellite communications network with acquisition of Canadian satellite, 1993; first domestically built communications satellite (Nahuel-1A) launched on European satellite/space launch vehicle (SLV), 1997; conducted a sub-orbital test rocket for domestic SLV (Tronador) project, 2007 (additional test launches of experimental vehicles, known as VEx, for the Tronador project conducted in 2014 and 2018); first domestically built synthetic aperture radar remote sensing (RS) satellite (SAOCOM 1A) launched on a US SLV, 2018; worked with Mexico to create the Latin American and Caribbean Space Agency (ALCE), 2020-2021 (officially established July 2021); signed US-led Artemis Accords outlining best practices for space exploration, 2023; as of 2023, continued developing multi-stage Tronador SLV project 

Government spending: in 2022, announced an additional investment of approximately $45 million in the Tronador SLV program, including associated experimental rockets (VEx-5, VEx-6) and auxiliary and launch infrastructure

Armenia

Key activities, programs, and milestones: signed agreement with Russia to produce and launch a communications satellite, 2012; India announced intention to build remote sensing (RS) satellite for Armenia, 2017; approved a national law on space activities, 2019; first RS satellite built jointly with a private Spanish firm and launched on US commercial rocket, 2022

Government spending: not available

Australia

Key activities, programs, and milestones:  sounding (research) rocket program, 1958-1975; built first space tracking station outside the US, 1960; founding member of INTELSAT, the world’s first global satellite communications network, 1964; first domestically built satellite (WRSEA) launched on a US rocket from a test range in South Australia, 1967; commissioned first national satellite system, 1981; Australian-made telescope used on US Space Shuttle mission, 1992; first Australian in space on US Space Shuttle, 1996; released a national policy for space industry, 2013; announced a $150 million initiative to support Australian businesses and researchers participating in US NASA’s Artemis Lunar project, 2019; began construction of Square Kilometer Array radio telescope observatory (world’s largest radio telescope) and announced intentions to provide a robotic Lunar lander for US Artemis project, 2021; launched a US NASA rocket from a newly-built commercial launch site, 2022; joint Australia-US space surveillance telescope based in Western Australia became operational, 2022; agreed to allow US rockets from Australian space ports, 2023

Government spending: approximately $55 million (2022)

Austria

Key activities, programs, and milestones: became an associate member of the European Space Agency (ESA) in 1981 and a full member in 1987; contributed to the Spacelab1 manned space laboratory, 1983-1998; collaborated with the Soviet Union in the 1980s, culminating with an Austrian going to space on a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft to the Mir Space Station, 1991; established a national space program, 2002; first domestically built science/technology (star observation) satellites (TUGSAT-1 and UniBRITE) launched by India, 2013; produced additional science/technology satellites, 2017 and 2019; worked with China to produce world’s first quantum-encrypted satellite communications teleconference from Beijing to Vienna, 2017; participates in several ESA-EU space programs, including Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (2014-2020), Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) program (2014-present), Copernicus Earth observation program (2014-present), Galileo global navigation satellite system (2016-present)

Government spending: contributed over $70 million to the ESA budget in 2023

Azerbaijan

Key activities, programs, and milestones: prior to 1991, provided support to the Soviet space program; NASA placed under Ministry of Defense Industry, 2006; presidential decree to establish a space industry, 2008; first communications satellite (Azerspace-1), built by US company and launched on European rocket, 2013; took operational control over remote sensing (RS) satellite (SPOT-7, now Azersky) from a French company, 2014; second communications satellite (Azerspace-2) built by US company and launched on European rocket, 2017; in 2023, agreed to participate in China's International Lunar Research Station Cooperation project, which aims to establish a Lunar base in the 2030s; also in 2023, acquired two multi-spectral RS satellites from Israel (Azersky-2 program) for scheduled launches in 2026 and 2028 

Government spending: not available

Bahrain

Key activities, programs, and milestones: in 2019-2020, began the process for acquiring its first satellite and building a ground satellite tracking station; first scientific nanosatellite (Light-1 CubeSat) built with assistance from the UAE and launched by Japan (released from the International Space Station), 2022; joined US-led Artemis Accords for space exploration, 2022; in 2022, announced national project to build first entirely domestically produced satellite 

Government spending: not available

Bangladesh

Key activities, programs, and milestones: first educational/scientific nanosatellite (BRAC-Onnesha) acquired from Japan and launched on US commercial rocket, 2017; first communications satellite (Bangabandhu-1), built by a French company and launched on a US commercial rocket, 2018; in 2021, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Russian company to acquire and launch a remote sensing (RS) satellite (Bangabandhu-2) tailored towards environmental monitoring, meteorology, cartography, and defense purposes (the MoU also included a ground station, acquiring RS data from Russian spacecraft, launch services, educational programs in space domains, commercial orbital flights, and consulting services)

Government spending: not available; has reportedly invested more than $400 million in 2021 RS satellite acquisition program

Belarus

Key activities, programs, and milestones: first Belarus-Russian RS satellite launched, 2003; launched a national space program with emphasis on developing remote sensing (RS) satellites and building a ground station for processing data, 2007; RS satellite (BKA BelKA) built jointly with and launched by Russia, 2012; first telecommunication satellite (Belintersat-1) built and launched by China, 2016; educational/scientific nanosatellite made by Belarusian university students and launched by China, 2018; finalized an agreement with Russia in 2022 to jointly produce an RS satellite for launch in 2023; in 2023, joined China’s International Lunar Research Station program, which aims to construct a permanent lunar base in the 2030s

Government spending:
not available

Belgium

Key activities, programs, and milestones: joined European Southern Observatory, 1967; joined the European Space Agency (ESA), 1975; joined first European Earth Observation program (SPOT; launched by France), 1986; founding member of European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), 1986; first Belgian astronaut in space on the US Space Shuttle, 1992; first remote sensing satellite (PROBA-1) launched on an Indian rocket, 2001; passed Belgian Space Law, 2005 (revised 2013); participates in multiple ESA-EU space efforts, including Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) program (2014-present), Copernicus Earth observation program (2014-present), Galileo global navigation satellite system (2016-present), EU government satellite communications (GovSatCom) program (2021-present), two meteorological satellite programs (first launches in 2021), and ESA-US James Webb Space Telescope (launched 2021); signed US-led Artemis Accords outlining best practices for responsible behavior in space exploration, 2024 

Government spending:
contributed approximately $290 million to ESA in 2023

Bhutan

Key activities, programs, and milestones: first small technology demonstrator satellite (BHUTAN-1) built with assistance from Japan and launched on a US commercial rocket, 2018; signed an agreement with India to jointly develop a small remote sensing (RS) satellite, 2021; RS/technology demonstrator nanosatellite (BhutanSat) built jointly with and launched by India, 2022; inaugurated a ground station for the BhutanSat, 2023

Government spending: not available
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