From the 1950s to the mid 1970s the only players in the exploration of outer space were Russians and Yankees. But since the mid 1970s the Yankee state has changed its priorities. At the same time, the Yankee public became awash with anti-science and New Age sentiments. While Russia has certainly had its own political problems in the 1980s and 90s, it has now joined with China in outer space joint ventures including building a lunar research base.
Read Mathew Ehret in Rising Tide Foundation