Space race: US stops running

Today marked the final touch down of the space shuttle Atlantis. For the first time in 30 years NASA no longer has the ability to send its own astronauts into space. And it faces a 9% cut in its annual budget. As the US grapples with possible default, space exploration is not a priority.

Foreign Policy Magazine suggests that this is indicative of global US decline; Russia and China are ahead.

Space race: US stops running

Con Coughlin agrees: America is reaching a watershed moment in its history. Can it afford to be a superpower as it struggles with its debt crisis? India and China are increasing their defence spending, and India is developing its own space programme; America is cutting back.

Foreign policy speaker Con Coughlin is the Telegraph’s executive foreign editor. He is a world-renowned expert on international affairs, particularly the Middle East, Islamic terrorism and UK and US defence policy.

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