In support of the meta question "Role of country tags", I think it would be helpful for us to define what we mean by a space agency.
Wikipedia defines space agencies as
government agencies engaged in activities related to outer space and space exploration.
and then provides a list of 72 agencies that meet that definition. The list is quite broad, and includes a lot of countries that have put nothing into space (not even with the help of another country). It appears that some countries create a space agency merely for prestige.
What do you think our criteria should be to call something a space agency? Some potential criteria include the following. I don't agree with all of them; this is just a list.
Having the words "space agency" in your organization's name.
- Having a launch site.
- Launching sounding rockets.
Wikipedia's definition of full launch capability: "launch and recover multiple satellites, deploy cryogenic rocket engines and operate extraterrestrial probes".
Designing or building payloads.
- Launching a payload into orbit on someone else's rocket.
- Launching a payload into orbit on one's own rocket.
- Operating Earth satellites.
Operating extraterrestrial probes.
Providing or training astronauts.
- Launching an astronaut on someone else's rocket.
Launching an astronaut on one's own rocket.
Analyzing scientific data collected from space.
- Promoting space-related industries to the public, including manufacturing and tourism.
- Lobbying for government support of space-related industries.
- Providing funding for any of the above (especially in one's own country).
- Do multi-national agencies (e.g. ESA, UN) count?
- Do sub-national agencies (e.g. Florida, Texas) count?
- What are private companies (e.g. SpaceX) called?