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A new golden age for space exploration?

Countries around the globe are launching successful missions. The question is whether they will compete or collaborate

By Philip Ball  

An image of Ultima Thule returned by the New Horizons spacecraft. Photo: NASA/UPI/PA Images

I can’t remember a year that kicked off with quite as much excitement about space as this one, which partly explains why I found myself sitting in the BBC studios at an absurd hour on the morning of New Year’s Day to talk about it. The Chinese space programme was about to land its mission Chang’e 4 on the far side (don’t say the dark side) of the Moon, while NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft was…

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