I am reading "Rocket Men". It is about Apollo 11. In it they mention that Kennedy's original wish for space was to do joint man exploration with the Soviet. But the Soviet didn't want to join in and many US military hawks were against it. It did not materialize till Apollo-Soyuz and then the Shuttle-Mir and ISS missions.
Now zoom forward to today.
Soyuz is going on 40 years and due to be replaced
Shuttle is retiring in a year and due to be replaced.
Russia is having problems paying for their program and the US is short on cash for developing new spacecraft.
But on the other hand
The Japanese just launched the HTV on their new H2B which is man rated. The Indians are developing their own spacecraft. The Europeans are also looking into Manned flight. The Chinese are also venturing out into the void.
There has also been a burst of private space enterprises developing their own spacecraft.
There has also been a greater interest in focusing on earthly issues and spending money on the planet before zooming off to the galaxy.
Is it time for a global space federation?
One where countries pay into the system with a central global management (rating every few years from country to country), common training, multiple spacecraft for different missions, and a way to streamline global manned space efforts to reduce the overall cost. Of course national satellite and research could continue but manned space would be streamed into one entity.
What do you all think?
Countries paid for the exploration of the earth.
The earth pays for the exploration of space.