JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia, an Early Space Pioneer, Never Regained Its Lead; The U.S. leapfrogged the Soviet Union by landing a man on the moon 50 years ago this month, and kept its place ever since” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

International Space Station file photo

“Russians still brim with pride over being the first nation to send a human into space.  Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin … circling the Earth in 1961[] remains a national hero whose story is taught to Russian schoolchildren. File Photo of Yuri Gagarin and U.S. Newspaper About Gagarin Space Flight But ever since the U.S. leapfrogged the Soviet Union by landing a man on the moon 50 years ago this month, Russia has never regained its early lead. In recent years, launch malfunctions, construction accidents, corruption scandals and a dearth of expertise have compounded what observers say is a deepening crisis in Russia’s space industry. … Still, space has remained one of the few areas where cooperation between Russia and the U.S. hasn’t collapsed amid tensions over issues such as … Ukraine and Syria and allegations … [regarding] the 2016 U.S. presidential election. …”

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