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/u/JeffHoffman on I am Jeff Hoffman, MIT Professor of Aerospace Engineering and former NASA Astronaut. Ask Me Anything!

19 Feb 2015, 19:02 UTC
/u/JeffHoffman on I am Jeff Hoffman, MIT Professor of Aerospace Engineering and former NASA Astronaut. Ask Me Anything!
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Actually, Brazil has made great strides in creating a national space program, although the rocket explosion a few years ago was a big setback. The nature of a country's space program depends a lot on the country's resources. I recently talked with a colleague in Denmark, which cannot afford a complete space program on its own. Instead, they work through the European Space Agency, which combines the resources of many European countries. Also, they have concentrated on certain areas of technology in which they can excel and reach world class. As a result, Denmark has provided experiments on several Mars rovers. For small countries, this is the best solution - pick a few areas of strength and try to develop them. It is possible that with the advent of private space activities, more opportunities will open up for small countries. For instance, Bigelow Space Industries has developed a private, inflatable space station that they will launch as soon as the private sector demonstrates the ability to launch people into orbit. Mr. Bigelow has said that he expects some of his customers will be smaller countries that would like to have their own astronauts and carry out research on a space ...

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