The Race for Space

Unlike the primary world, in Ill Bethisad there was no global Cold War or associated arms race to provoke the accelerated development of certain technologies, e.g. intercontinental-range ballistic missiles.  With the necessary technology in a lesser state of development, and in the absence of political reasons ("to beat the Americans for the greater glory of World Communism"), the race for space in IB got started considerably later.  Many of the civilian applications of the space race (e.g. communications satellites) are filled in IB by other technologies (in the case of communications satellites, by remotely-operated dirigible balloons in the upper atmosphere).
Thus it was a considerable shock to the world when members of the Holy Roman Empire launched the world's first artificial satellite in spring 2002, using technology developed during the Second Great War.
Despite this stunning achievement, it soon became clear that the disparate constituents of the HRE did not have the resources to effectively support further space exploration.  In partnership with the powerful Scandinavian Realm, they established the Tysk-Skandinaviske Rum Compagnie, ("German-Scandinavian Space Company).  TSRC remains one of the foremost space agencies of Ill Bethisad, though there are several others.  On 11th August 2004 the TSRC successfully sent a chimpanzee into space, following this with the successful launch of the Raumgleiter spaceplane carrying two 4-foot tall Negrito testæronauts, Georg Aleksandersen Gagadie and Josef Petersen Quitinga.  This suborbital flight nevertheless made the two Andamese the world's first cosmonauts.
Also in 2002, three other European powers (France, Dalmatia and Ireland) announced that they were forming a rival space agency.  The Euro-Consortium, however, quickly became mired in petty disputed over colour schemes and the name of their prospective launch vehicle, and they have yet to actually launch a rocket.  Dalmatia, in fact, left the Consortium in July 2004 over what it described as "French recalcitrance", and according to unconfirmed reports are attempting to develop their own advanced space program (see here).
The disputatious nature of the participants and Dalmatia's withdrawal did not stop the Italian Federation and Greece from joining the Euro-Consortium, in 2007 and 2009 respectively.

ATOE logo
Louisianne entered the race for space in the early 2000s when its CNEL national space agency launched its first artificial satellite.  In 2004, CNEL entered into partnership with the Japanese Imperial Space Agency.  The resulting Trans-Oceanic Alliance for the Exploration of Space (ATOE) is one of the world's foremost space agencies, and the only one so far to have launched a significant number of satellites.
In the same year as the Alliance was formed, the new agency also succeeded in sending their first cosmonaut into space.

ATOE's successful launch and recovery of a cosmonaut directly inspired the creation of the Central Asian space consortium Ğarç Uyumı.  The consortium is an alliance of national space agencies, financiers, aerospace technology companies and a couple of amateur space societies, all contributing a minimum financial stake to the organisation.  Ğarç Uyumı ("The Space Organisation") was founded in 2004 and includes members from Turkestan, Persia, the Russian Republic of Qazaqstan and the Moghul National Realm.

On 16- Çavır (16th April), Buqa jıl 2009, SpaceOrg successfully launched their first satellite Dostlik, following up with a second sattelite Beybit in June of the same year.  Plans are afoot to attempt their first manned space flight in the last months of the Central Asian year (the early part of 2010 in the Western calendar).