Decisions being made by US policy makers risk letting the country fall even further behind, as companies wishing to develop new technologies find they are better served by countries outside of America.
This could lead to a scenario where the US ceases to be a major player, giving it much less of a say in global policy and meaning it has to kowtow to greater, more influential economies in Asia. Not only this, but the US could find its cultural influence waning as money flows from other regions, significantly reducing its media exports, reducing job opportunities and giving US citizens far less of a voice on the global stage.
The US might have been the winners of the original space race, but these days it is no longer such a stand-out leader. NASA is undoubtedly still the most powerful space agency in the world, but it no longer receives the level of funding or wholehearted support that it used to.
Earlier this month Vox wrote an excellent piece identifying this issue, entitled For NASA, sending a person to Mars is simple. Dealing with Congress is hard. It highlighted that the core problems for NASA were not the technology, but the political issues and constraints that the agency faces.
Unlike the other examples here, the US is a long way from being overtaken on space research, and NASA has increasingly partnered with other agencies to make exploration a global effort.
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