Playing The China Card

Is It Time to Invite China to the Space Party?, Free Space, Discovery

"China has something we could use -- spaceships. Their Shenzhou capsules, based on the Russian Soyuz design, have successfully flown three times. (Another option, of course, is to add public funds to the development of the Dragon capsule, a project of privately funded Space Exploration Technologies of California. Under the terms of SpaceX's contract, they'll be no cost to the public if the company can't pull it off. Seems like a no-brainer.) Adding China to the station program could expand the cultural melding blossoming in orbit, give Obama a Kennedy-esque platform from which to flex his space muscles and maybe inspire common ground for solving a whole bunch of other troubling issues that divide the U.S. and China, such as human rights, free speech, copyright infringement, etc., etc. "

Keith's note: It is not widely known, but former NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe had discussions with Dr. Sun from the China National Space Agency (CNSA) at NASA headquarters in Washington, DC to discuss broader cooperation between CNSA and NASA. Internally, NASA was even discussing how to bring China into the ISS program. That initiative hit a brick wall when Mike Griffin took over as NASA administrator and installed Michael O'Brien as head of NASA External Relations. Any thoughts? Should NASA (or the ISS partnership) invite China to join the ISS? Post your comments below.

NASA Presidental Transition Action Item Log, Nov 2008

"2. Provide more information regarding international partnerships, particularly with the Asia-Pacific region countries. No new data, just pull existing information."

Obama Opens Policy Talks With China, NY Times

[Obama] "If we advance those interests through cooperation," he said, "our people will be better off -- because our ability to partner with each other is a prerequisite for progress on many of the most pressing global challenges."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on July 27, 2009 4:10 PM.

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