There is more exploration going on today than most anyone can imagine. More in fact, than since the Space Era started. Every day NASA, through the Goddard Space Flight Center publishes the Astronomy Picture of the Day. Subscribe here and you will keep engaged. Plus come back to my site!!
While initially, there was a space race to get to the Moon, scientists quickly realiized that the value of rockets and specially designed craft could teach us about our own planet.
Companies realized that spacecraft could create new businesses, communications, global markets such as television and telephones. Recently GPS has emerged as specialized satellites have been launched.
Trips to other planets and moons, impossible for humans because of the travel times and the stress on our bodies (with our current technology) are limited so we started building spacecraft that could withstand the rigors of spaceflight, and we have learned an amazing amount about our own planet and many of the planets and moons in our solar system.
At first we were not very good at landing spacecraft on other planets but we’ve kept trying and we are getting better at it.
There is still competition, but there is far more cooperation. Think of it as "coopetition".
I have attached several timelines of exploration. If you click HERE, you will see a series of timelines for the US space program, (although many of these programs were/are handled cooperatively with other countries. There is also a timeline for the early Race to the Moon that occurred between the US and former USSR.
Quite honestly, there are too many projects and programs to be in a single tiimeline.
Soon there will be equavalent timelines for European, Russian programs and other space-faring nations. Cooperation on robotic programs as well as the International Space Station shows that we can work together as a human specie, and the power of our collaboration is more than the sum of it’s parts.
You should be able to start and stop the timeline movies by pressing the spacebar on your keyboard.
Please note all images are courtesy of NASA, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and Wikipedia.