1 big trend: China's space race
We're pulling away from the daily grind for a look at China's surge into the space race.
The big picture: Russia launched seven satellites in 2016, compared to China's 19. As of October, Russia had launched 116 satellites into space since 2007 and China, 188. The U.S. is still far ahead of both nations with 553 satellites launched in that period, Axios' Erica Pandey reports.
Three quick things to know:
- "The U.S. has done everything it can to make sure China is excluded from the International Space Station," Gregory Kulacki says. That includes trying to jam the Chinese on joint research projects.
- To the moon: China is planning to go to the far side of the moon in 2018 — a mission that has never been done before — and bring back sample moon rocks.
- Quantum communications: China is trying to become an international leader in using the behavior of particles of light to send information securely via quantum-enabled satellites in space.
Go deeper: The state of the space race in one chart
2. What you missed
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- Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards has confirmed that she's stepping down after 12 years. She'll remain involved in activism. More.
- U.S. GDP grew at 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017, missing Wall Street's estimate of 3% growth. Chart.
- Michigan State's athletic director, Mark Hollis, announced his resignation today. He's the latest top university official to step down following the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. More.
- Hillary Clinton chose not to fire the faith adviser on her 2008 presidential campaign, despite allegations of sexual harassment against a younger staffer, reports the NYTimes.