I could not let the following pass without comment:
Jeff Foust has a story today on the current real space race (as opposed to the fantasy one between the US and China)--the new race for customers in the suborbital market.
Of course there is one difference between the commercial space race and the "silent Sputnik" international one. The participants in the latter have actually launched crewed space craft into orbit (and one beyond, once upon a time.) Some fantasy.