The culmination of human space exploration is embodied today in the International Space Station, the most expensive object ever made by man. The estimated cost of the ISS is $150 billion and it is funded by 5 space agencies from US, Russia, Japan, European Union and Canada. NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA have been maintaining ISS and supplying crews and supplies for the last 15 years, setting the record for the longest continuous human presence in space. Not surprisingly, 4 of these 5 countries are also on the list of the most advanced countries in medicine, as a good chunk of research conducted onboard ISS is related to medicine.
In recent past, several nations have joined the efforts in exploring space, namely China and India. Both countries have promising space programs that receive a lot of attention from the public and are funded by their governments.
Before we go to the list of most advanced countries in space technology, a small disclaimer is due. The majority of European space research is performed by ESA, European Space Agency. It is a joint effort of 22 member states, providing them with the opportunity to take part in the exploration of space. ESA’s budget ($5.5 billion) would place it very high on our list, but since it isn’t representing a single country, we decided to omit it. Some other European countries have made it to the list, though. Let’s see who they are.