The father of astronautics was, and forever will be Jules Verne whilst mom was the USSR. First signs were shown during the World War Two where Germans were desperate in proving their theories to the English, but brits obviously never got the point.
Frankly: no one really saw the point in it.
Russians couldn't afford something they don't understand anyway.
1949 - americans send monkey into space
1949 - reds do nothing
1950 - americans send some weed into space
1951 - reds send dog into space
1961 - reds send man into space
1961 - french send mouse into space
1963 - french send cat into space
After the Cool war - the space program Noah's ark ended and thus began space program of mutual cofuckeration based on the movie "independence day".
Danger from above
In truth - aliens found out about us - and declared war for weed and chineese cousine (now you all understand why we never got the animals back). But the war didn't last long as Cuban space project required sending cocaine and heroine in space - purely for radiation tests. Fidel never saw that shipments again, but for some incredibly strange reasons aliens started crashing on Earth on locations like: Area 51, Bosnia, Bermuda triangle... etc.
The daring plan of United Nations is to form an ant colony on Mars, and sending scientists to declare if the planned it destroyable, eatable or just another hunk in the solar system. Still many nations are in dispute with the purpose of the moon:
Americans think we have to nuke it - although they are still looking for the reason (some senators state that it blocks our view on the stars).
French demand it's independence and freedom.
Germans already declared war to it.
British think it's late again.
Japan has plans to make a Playstation factory there.
Pope wants to baptize it.
Jeery Seinfeld still wonders...
“As loong as we agree it will all be fine.”