Awesome Map of Space Agencies Around the World

by Nancy Atkinson on June 26, 2012

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When you think of space agencies around the world, what comes to mind? Probably NASA, ESA, ISRO and JAXA are the acronyms you know; then there’s the Russian Federal Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency, and the China National Space Agency. But did you know there are dozens of countries with space agencies, with nearly 200 space agencies and centers around the world? Blogger Heather Archuletta has put together a map and list of all the space agencies on the planet, including countries you may not have realized had a space agency such as Argentina, Bulgaria, Pakistan Morocco, and more. The list includes links to all the space agency’s websites and a link to an interactive Google Map. The immediate thought that came to mind, which Heather shared on Twitter was, ROAD TRIP!

For any space nerd, that would be the ultimate global trek, to visit every space agency in the world. With all the NASA and Russian centers and all the various countries in ESA, your trip would include 198 locations around our planet!

Heather is known for her Pillownaut blog which originally detailed her time participating in NASA bedrest studies to simulate long duration spaceflight. The space agency map was a new project, born from a conversation with a friend.

“Overall, I created it to be a tracking tool, and to show how huge the space industry has become,” Heather told Universe Today. “Many people think of the space game as being the US, Russia and a handful of Europeans… but truly, lifestyle in many countries is dependent upon the use of space, even if it’s just as simple as remote sensing or collaborative satellites.”

Heather noted that the map includes one site in India that is not operational yet, but built.

But consider how many jobs around the world have been created because of space exploration… and these jobs employ some of the best and brightest minds in forward-thinking, global-enriching ways. And even more, there’s now the burgeoning private space industry that is employing even more people with jobs that focus on the future.

Check out http://pillownaut.com/spacemap/spacemap.html and plan your space-nerd road trip today!

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Zoutsteen from Holland June 26, 2012 at 4:28 PM

http://www.spacexc.com
I guess there is plenty more where those came from.
But you opened my eyes to the full picture of Space.

Heather Archuletta June 27, 2012 at 5:21 AM

Thank you for your kindness Zoutsteen, that was my intention! :)

Samvith Rao June 26, 2012 at 5:33 PM

what’s the troll icon in the favicon ?

BertieSeyffert June 26, 2012 at 6:35 PM

I feel it my duty as a South African astrophysicist to point out that the list is incomplete and missing the South African National Space Agency (SANSA). The agency came into existence late 2010, and is definitely a thing :D. I distinctly remember reading the release while attending an astrophysics conference in Germany (which is why it stood out ;) ). Ok, fine, we aren’t launching rockets yet, but we’re well on our way… P.S.: Here’s a link to their site:
http://www.sansa.org.za/ Oh, and it would be much appreciated if you guys upvoted this so everyone can see :). Thanks. Ok, bye :D #ProudlySouthAfrican

Victor S. Magalhães June 27, 2012 at 12:31 AM

The list for Brazil is simply wrong!!!
INPE is not in São Paulo! INPE has many centers just like NASA.
Some are in the state of São Paulo:
One in São Paulo(city);
The major center in São José dos campos near CTA;
Atibaia;
and Cachoeira Paulista.

There are many other centers scattered throughout the country:
one in the Amazon (Belém);
two in the southernmost state (Rio Grande do Sul);
two in the state of Maranhão to monitor the launches from CLA (Centro de Lançamento de Alcântara);
One in the center-western region to monitor satellite health (in Cuiába);
Two in the northeastern region, including one to monitor Launches from the base Barreira do inferno (in Natal).

Also missing are Brazil`s two launch site CLA in Alcântara and Barreira do Inferno in Natal

Krzysztof Helminiak June 27, 2012 at 12:36 AM

aaaaaaaaand Portugal is marked with a flag of Poland – congratulations!

Heather Archuletta June 27, 2012 at 5:18 AM

Nancy, thank you for this article, and for showcasing my map! I appreciate your support for my project :)

With my apologies to Portugal, their flag gif was already on the web server but when I typed it, it merely defaulted to the first “po” word, which was Poland. This was a simple typo mistake and is now repaired. :) I also definitely appreciate any and all input for additional agencies or more accurate locations from natives in the countries in question. Many of the websites for government space agencies can be quite difficult to navigate, and I will gladly add them as I find and learn about them.

However, that said, I will never understand for the life of me why people have to be so rude. Many of your comments here were extremely hurtful, though I suppose they are typical of the anonymity you enjoy on the internet. If you knew me personally, and saw all the effort I put into this, I doubt any of you would continue to be so unnecessarily mean. At least, as adults, I hope you wouldn’t.

This map and web page reflect hundreds of hours of research, writing, mapping, linking, and coding, after going from web page to web page of all the involved government agencies — often struggling through meager translations in dozens of languages I do not speak. Do you speak every language in the world? I felt this would be a fruitful learning experience, and I expected it to be a project that would grow over time with greater details and clarifications. The next time any of you spend a month researching 200 space agencies, please be sure to let me know.

And Victor, the map does already correctly reflect INPE São José dos campos near CTA, and their page lists the state of SP. I am not sure what I should change there if you believe it is wrong. I’m happy to add the other sites, but cannot find mention of them anywhere on the web. Feel free to send their website links if you would like to see them added.

BertieSeyffert June 27, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Hi Heather, just wanna say sorry if I might have sounded kinda like an idiot. Didn’t mean to detract from what you’ve done with the map, merely point out that it was missing SANSA. The map is a really cool idea, and achieves its goal perfectly in showcasing how the world of space agencies looks in 2012. Thanks for doing and sharing it. Anyhow, just wanted to un-douchebag myself in the hopes that the rest of the internet will follow suit… :)

Heather Archuletta June 29, 2012 at 4:40 AM

Hello Bertie, please rest assured I was not speaking to you, so I apologize in return. One of the comments has since been removed! But yours was informative, contained a link to which I could refer, and brought my attention to a new site, so thank you! I have added SANSA to the Google map and to the web page, though you might need to refresh the page to see them :)

BertieSeyffert June 29, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Whoop!!! :D I literally just double air-punched when I saw the little flag on the map! Does this mean that I put my country on the map? ;) btw, it seems that this article has garnered you some very useful feedback… Always fun :D

Karthik Vj June 29, 2012 at 3:09 PM

@twitter-50392479:disqus Welcome to Internet!

Lorin Ionita June 27, 2012 at 8:32 AM

In my opinion the hundreds of agencies thing is wrong. Each has a limited budget, even with NASA’s budget being the biggest they don’t have enough to do all the things they want. I think we should have less agencies with bigger budgets. Instead of each country having it’s own agency they should unite into one big continental agency. That should move the projects forward at a faster rate.

Jessica Frankie June 27, 2012 at 4:13 PM

I love the map. These space agencies are very useful, mostly because people need to enter the space race super soon. I would love to see something magnific in space in my lifetime,but sometime all the money in the world can’t buy certain things.

It seems there is one big space agency in my country too. Super interesting.

Lord Haw-Haw. June 27, 2012 at 6:09 PM

How many of us recall the late Dr. Carl Sagan in the series “Cosmos” referring to the dangers of fervent nationalism and national boundaries which are not visible from space?
Nowadays the Indian/Pakistan border is very much visible at night. Space should be all about international cooperation, this map should solicit a happy Global family feeling ……..kudos Heather as an opinion it’s superb!

Peter Hook June 28, 2012 at 12:55 AM

Hi Heather. A great and painstaking achievement. One thing to change: The Bulgarian for their Space Agency in the expanded window in your map translates to “Bulgarian Literary Society”.

Heather Archuletta June 29, 2012 at 5:00 AM

Thank you for the heads up, Peter! LOL, how in the world I cut and pasted that is a mystery. It is now updated, and while I was in that area I also realized I needed a Ukrainain flag gif. Two for one! :)

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