Top 10 space agencies in the world

Top 10 space agencies in the world

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The exploration of space has been ongoing for centuries, but only in the last few decades have we seen such rapid advancements in technology and capability. There are now dozens of countries with space agencies and programs, all vying to be the leaders in this new frontier. So, who are the best space agencies in the world? Here are our top 10 picks, based on their achievements, budgets, and future plans.


  • As the world’s premier space agency, NASA is responsible for a wide variety of programs and initiatives that enable Americans and people around the world to explore, understand, and utilize space.
  • NASA has a budget of $21.5 billion for the 2019 fiscal year. The agency’s main headquarters is in Washington, D.C., with additional facilities located throughout the United States. NASA also has an international presence through its ten field centers.
  • NASA’s Mission is to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research. To do so, NASA conducts research and development (R&D), builds spacecraft, launches satellites and astronauts into orbit, returns samples from other worlds to Earth for study, and collaborates with international partners to enhance human exploration of space.


  • The European Space Agency (ESA) is an intergovernmental organization of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a strong focus on science and technology, with its own research and development facilities.
  • ESA's budget for 2020 is €14.4 billion, making it the second largest space agency in the world after NASA. Notable ESA programs include the development of the Ariane rocket family and the construction of the International Space Station.


  • In 2018, the Russian Federal Space Agency, commonly known as Roscosmos, launched more than 70 spacecraft from its various launch sites. That’s more than any other space agency in the world.
  • Roscosmos is also the only space agency to operate crews on both the International Space Station and Mir, the Russian space station. The agency has a long history dating back to the Soviet Union, when it was known as the Soviet Space Agency.


JAXA, or the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, is one of the world's leading space exploration agencies. JAXA was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. JAXA has a strong focus on robotic exploration of the solar system, and has sent several probes to Mars and Venus. In addition, JAXA has developed a number of successful launch vehicles and satellites, including the Hayabusa spacecraft which returned samples from an asteroid to Earth.


  • The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which has its headquarters in Bengaluru, is the country's space agency. 'Harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration' is the organization's mission statement.
  • Formed in 1969, ISRO superseded the erstwhile Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) which was established by the efforts of independent India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and his close adviser and scientist Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai. 
  • The foundation of ISRO in this way regulated space exercises in India. The Department of Space, which reports to the Prime Minister of India, is in charge of managing it.


The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is the space agency of the Government of Canada. The CSA is responsible for the development and application of space science and technology in Canada, and works with international partners to promote peaceful use of outer space. The CSA's main activities include:

- conducting scientific research on space exploration, Earth observation, telecommunications, and astronomy;

- developing new technologies for space applications;

- supporting the Canadian astronaut program; and

- promoting the use of space science and technology by Canadian industry and academia.


  • The People's Republic of China's national space agency is the China National Space Administration (CNSA). It is responsible for the space program of China and for planning and executing space activities nationwide. The CNSA was established in 1993 as a successor to the former Chinese Committee on Science and Technology in Space, which was created in 1986.
  • The CNSA is headquartered in Beijing and has subordinate units throughout China. Its budget for 2016 was US$6.36 billion, about 0.53% of China’s GDP at the time.
  • The main functions of the CNSA are to: formulate policies and development strategies for the space industry; plan and develop space infrastructure; conduct space science research; develop satellite technology; manage space activities; and promote international cooperation in space.


  • UKSA (United Kingdom Space Agency) is a space agency that was formed in 2010. The agency is responsible for the UK's civil space programme and works closely with other government departments, academia, and industry to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of global space activities.
  • The UKSA has three main focus areas: science, technology, and applications. In terms of science, the agency is responsible for supporting research into a wide range of topics such as solar system science, astrophysics, and Earth observation. 

German Aerospace Centre

  • One of the oldest organizations in the world is this space agency. In 1969, this space agency was established. The German Aerospace Center works on projects related to energy, security, digitalization, transportation, aerospace, space, and aviation. This space agency has its headquarters in Cologne. 
  • The German Aerospace Center manages missions, plans, and implements the space program on behalf of the German government because DLR also serves as Germany's space agency.

Italian Space Organization

Italian Space Organization was laid out in 1988, and the base camp of this space organization is in Rome. This space agency currently ranks among the top ten in the world. Additionally, this space agency has collaborated with numerous other space agencies on numerous significant space exploration projects, including Mars Express, Venus Express,


There are many space agencies around the world vying for a spot on the top 10 list. While it is difficult to compare them all, we have compiled a list of the 10 best space agencies in the world according to their funding, technology, and achievements.

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