The Ten Coolest Non-US Space ProjectsS

NASA is the most trusted brand in the space business, but throughout the decades of space exploration, other nations also went where no man has gone before. And here are their ten most significant achievements.


10.) Japan's Hayabusa 2 asteroid explorer

The Ten Coolest Non-US Space ProjectsS

The Hayabusa 2 is the follow-up mission to the original from 2003 set to be launched next year.

Using a different approach than the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft, the Hayabusa 2 will land a German/French Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout on an asteroid, which will drop plastic explosives, roll to the other side of the rock to protect itself, detonate penetrating the surface and analyze the samples from the crater for a year and a half.

Suggested By: Attila Nagy, Photo Credit: JAXA


9.) Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise

The Ten Coolest Non-US Space ProjectsS

Space X is one of the most exciting companies out there, even if they weren't the first to came up with the idea. But at the same time, let's not forget about a certain British billionaire who also wants to fly high.

Virgin Galactic started a year after Space X was founded, and instead of landing giant penises, they're about to send many into space.

Suggested By: Máté Petrány, Photo Credit: Getty Images


8.) India's space program

The Ten Coolest Non-US Space ProjectsS

India is building rockets. They used to rely on Russian tech, but aren't far from getting fully independent. Communication and observation satellites, and ambitious plans for extraterrestrial exploration. We shall see, but their Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle is pretty badass.

Suggested By: Pistol Pete is The Transporter, Photo Credit: Indian Space Research Organisation


7.) China's Lunar Rover

The Ten Coolest Non-US Space ProjectsS

It's called the Jade Rabbit, which is pretty cool. The other fact about the Chinese space effort is that they're sending more rockets up there week by week than the rest of the industry combined, successfully.

Suggested By: Incognigro, Photo Credit: Getty Images


6.) Russia's ALMAZ guns

The Ten Coolest Non-US Space ProjectsS

The Soviets shot titanium soccer balls into the Moon just to have something there before the Americans, and built a god damn giant laser cannon called Polyus that unfortunately blew up during a failed launch before it could doom us all, but the most remarkable thing was their highly secret Almaz space station project.

It was was equipped with a unique 23mm Rikhter rapid-fire cannon mounted on the forward belly of the station, modified from the tail-gun of the Tu-22 bomber with a theoretical rate of fire of 1800-2000 (up to 2600) rounds per minute.

Some of its technology lives on in the ISS.

Suggested By: JayHova, Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


5.) The French probe of Titan

The Ten Coolest Non-US Space ProjectsS

The Huygens spacecraft landed on the Saturn's moon in 2005 after traveling for more than seven years. It also sent back some nice pictures, and remains the the most distant landing man-made object as of today.

Suggested By: Attila Nagy, Photo Credit: Getty Images


4.) Russia's Soyuz rockets

The Ten Coolest Non-US Space ProjectsS

Soyuz rockets started their glorious career back in 1966, and since America doesn't have a Space Shuttle anymore, if anybody wants to go to the ISS, using a Soyuz 2.1b remains the only way.

Suggested By: Spiegel The "Poet", Photo Credit: AP Images


3.) Canada's arm

The Ten Coolest Non-US Space ProjectsS

The Canadarm's giant hand and the great work of Chris Hadfield put the Canadian flag up there forever.

Suggested By: POD, Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


2.) USSR Buran

The Ten Coolest Non-US Space ProjectsS

The Buran could have been better than the Space Shuttle if it was ever finished by the collapsing communists. Simple facts:

  • It went around the planet twice, then landed without a pilot.
  • It could carry a much greater load (120 tonns/30 tonns).
  • It had a better lift-drag ratio (6.5/5.5).
  • It had a catapult system. The Space Shuttle also had one at first, but only for two people, so they got rid of later on to make it fair.

Then again, one successful flight doesn't really count, does it?

Suggested By: techinsanity2011, Photo Credit: Buran.ru


1.) Russia's famous trio

The Ten Coolest Non-US Space ProjectsS

They launched Sputnik 1: the first satellite, October 4, 1957.

They launched Vostok 1: the first human spaceflight by Yuri Gagarin, April 12, 1961.

And they launched Lunokhod 1: the first lunar rover, November 17, 1970.

Suggested By: J-Tenno,Arch Duke and Braking Bad, Photo Credit: Getty Images

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