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  China and U.S. open lines to space cooperation (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   China and U.S. open lines to space cooperation
Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-25-2009 03:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aviation Week: China Shows U.S. Delegation Next Spacecraft
As a former deputy NASA administrator and the head of China's Manned Space Engineering Office held back-channel talks, human spaceflight officials here offered an unprecedented opportunity to examine the Tiangong-1 docking target and the next in its series of Shenzhou human spacecraft, as well as previously off-limits space facilities.

And five of the six Chinese astronauts who have flown in space quizzed two former space shuttle commanders about aspects of their common profession, ranging from rendezvous and docking techniques to the best way to manage astronaut schedules.

"Because of a lack of contact in previous times, we haven't decided how to cooperate," replied Wang Wenbao, director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office, when asked if China would be willing to join the International Space Station partnership (ISS). "If we can open a channel so we can all sit together, then we can decide what we can do and what America can do."

"The important thing to know is that we had a meeting," says Fred Gregory, a three-time shuttle astronaut and deputy NASA administrator from 2002-05.

Gregory and Tom Henricks, a veteran of four shuttle missions who is president of Aviation Week, spent several hours briefing Chinese astronauts, engineers and space-medicine experts about their spaceflight experiences during a visit to Beijing Space City arranged by the Space Foundation, a private U.S. group. Among those participating were Yang Liwei, China's first astronaut; Zhai Zhigang, its first spacewalker; and three other Shenzhou spaceflight veterans.

SpaceAholic
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posted 09-25-2009 07:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And five of the six Chinese astronauts who have flown in space quizzed two former space shuttle commanders about aspects of their common profession, ranging from rendezvous and docking techniques...
While I am not a proponent of close cooperation with the Chinese Space program this is an area important to adopt a common set of interoperable design standards and procedures (not just with the Chinese but also to include the rest of the international community) primarily for the benefit of crew rescue. Many of the lessons learned from development of submarine rescue to include organization, training exercises, and adaptation of standards for hatch design could serve as model for a similar approach to spaceborne crew rescue.

issman1
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posted 09-27-2009 11:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am a proponent of closer co-operation with China and this is very positive. As China is one of only three nations capable of safely putting humans into orbit, international collaboration is long overdue.

noroxine
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posted 09-27-2009 01:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for noroxine   Click Here to Email noroxine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not an expert by it seams that Chinese used many part from Russian Space program so there is chance that they already have good level of interoperability with materials.

In general (in life) and in my mind sharing is better than working alone...

SpaceAholic
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posted 09-27-2009 01:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They are also only one of several countries capable of indiscriminately targeting and blowing up a bird in an ASAT test with offensive space weapons (Expect we will see more of this behavior from Bejing). As I have discussed elsewhere in this forum, the Chinese space program is ostensibly about furthering military capability under the guise of peaceful exploration. We dont need to accelerate their programs ascension through voluntary or inadvertent transfer of technology.

SpaceAholic
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posted 09-27-2009 01:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Possibly between the Russians/Chinese but more then likely some type of docking adapter would still be required. In addition to the mechanical lashup, the interface would have to include consideration for different atmospheric composition/cabin pressures.

jimsz
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posted 09-27-2009 05:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I for one hope the cooperation only extends to interoperability for rescue scenarios.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-17-2009 10:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From a joint press statement by President Obama and President Hu of China that was issued today (emphasis mine):
Both President Obama and I said that we are willing to act on the basis of mutual benefit and reciprocity to deepen our cooperation on counterterrorism, law enforcement, science, technology, outer space, civil aviation, and engage in cooperation in space exploration, high-speed railway infrastructure, in agriculture, health, and other fields. And we also agreed to work together to continue to promote even greater progress in the growth of military-to-military ties.

issman1
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posted 11-18-2009 08:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How much longer will it be before China is offered ISS partnership? It has proven itself capable of launching humans into LEO and returning them safely. Shenzhou is a proven space transportion system. EVA capability has been demonstrated. Only a docking test remains. Why not have a future Shenzhou dock to the Russian segment? My understanding is that a compatible docking adapter can be added. What about an exchange of astronauts and taikonauts, similar to Sergei Krikalev on STS-60 and Norm Thagard on Mir? It's still possible to include a taikonaut as a Payload Specialist on STS-133. Of course, this is all hinges upon political goodwill. But now has never been a better time, especailly in light of NASA's current predicament, in my humble opinion.

cspg
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posted 11-18-2009 08:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The US and China are interdependent because of economic ties (you buy my goods and I'll buy your debt). China is still, last time I checked, a communist dictatorship so to have a taikonaut on the Shuttle or ISS is unlikely. At least not until NASA drops the ISS. Or there's a "revolution" in China.

issman1
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posted 11-18-2009 11:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hope we can look beyond the ideological differences of nations and see the human side. Otherwise, what's the point of venturing farther into space as a unified species? After all, it was dreamers in the old USSR who got the Space Age started and some might argue China is more capitalist than communist today.

Lasv3
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posted 11-18-2009 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lasv3   Click Here to Email Lasv3     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Please don't be confused by the comunist government in China - ideology is one thing, economy is another - and believe me the Chinese economy is nothing else than a booming capitalism with market economy principles in place.

I'm far away from starting some discussion on China's politics here, just the contrary, all I want to say is the China's communist government is very pragmatical (tha Mao's times are pre-history) and all they just may need is the right motivation and "excuse" to abandon their own very ambitious space programme (as here prevails the ideology so far - "we people of China will achieve it under the Party leadership alone") and to join the forces and resources with the rest of the world. The time may by the right one now and I personally believe the joint efforts of the superpowers in going to the stars is the only way forward.

ejectr
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posted 11-18-2009 08:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We've got to start doing more with other nations on this planet than going to war. We don't seem to have any trouble working with others to destroy it.

Star Trek will never become a reality if we don't start working together on something other than destroying each other.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-10-2009 09:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In a speech delivered Wednesday (Dec. 9) to the AIAA and Women in Aerospace, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden implied that a partnership with China was part of NASA's future:
That international cooperation, he added, would include "non-traditional partners", such as China. "There are not a lot of things I can tell you with certainty, but I can tell you that; he said do that," Bolden said, referring to the president. Later, in a brief Q&A session, he added about working with the Chinese, "I'd rather work with them than fight them."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-25-2010 02:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Administrator Statement on China Visit

On October 16-21, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden led a small delegation to China.

The following is a statement from the Administrator regarding his visit:

"On behalf of the NASA delegation that traveled to China, I want to express my appreciation to the China Manned Space Engineering Office, our hosts for my visit. Our delegation conducted a very comprehensive visit to Chinese human spaceflight related facilities including the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center and conducted meetings with relevant senior officials in the Chinese government.

"I am pleased that NASA was able to meet its objectives for the visit, which included becoming acquainted with relevant Chinese space officials and institutions, better understanding Chinese human spaceflight programs and plans, and reaching a common understanding of the importance of transparency, reciprocity and mutual benefit as the underlying principles of any future interaction between our two nations in the area of human spaceflight.

"I also had an opportunity to meet with my counterpart at the China National Space Administration to review the ongoing efforts of Space and Earth Science working groups, established in 2007, to explore areas of mutual interest.

"Although my visit did not include consideration of any specific proposals for future cooperation, I believe that my delegation's visit to China increased mutual understanding on the issue of human spaceflight and space exploration, which can form the basis for further dialogue and cooperation in a manner that is consistent with the national interests of both of our countries."

jimsz
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posted 10-25-2010 08:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is no benefit to the US to cooperate with the Chinese.

What does the US gain?

The US needs to go it alone in every facet of space exploration.

NAAmodel#240
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posted 11-12-2010 11:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NAAmodel#240   Click Here to Email NAAmodel#240     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was the ASTP flight with Communists a mistake? If we had the opportunity in 1946 to remain allies with the Russians instead of competitors/enemies would we have preferred that? Would that have been better for our country and the world? I believe we are at a crossroad with China like we were with the Soviets in 1945. Will we become friends, competitors, or enemies? If they are to become our enemies we would be ill-advised to be sharing space technology as I think Scott worries about. We would be best served to have China as a friend or competitor. I have no problem sending a token Communist up on STS-133. It promotes friendship and cooperation without encouraging technology transfer.

dom
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posted 11-12-2010 12:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jimsz:
There is no benefit to the US to cooperate with the Chinese.
Right now there might be people in China asking themselves what THEY have to gain from co-operating with the USA!

The G20 Summit has just shown that this is probably going to be the "Asian Century" so the Chinese might be more interested in teaming up with emerging space powers such as South Korea, India and Japan...

SpaceAholic
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posted 11-12-2010 12:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The degree of cooperation is more critical - as noted several times previously (and demonstrated by the countries actions), China's space program is military centric with a principle objective of advancing power projection. Dual-use technology transfer should remain off the table.

dom
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posted 11-12-2010 04:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Modern day spaceflight itself was about "advancing power projection" during the Cold War and we are just lucky that the ISS developed out of the end of the old rivalry betweeen the USA and USSR.

China is not really in the business of impressing the USA at the moment and I think it's more likely to want to co-operate with other Asian nations first...

SpaceAholic
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posted 11-12-2010 06:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Certainly not with Japan which has a strained relationship and mutually competing national interests. Chinese military dominance of the western Pacific is the precise reason why most countries in that region would also be reticent to cooperate in any meaningful way (with the possible exception of India).

dom
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posted 11-13-2010 06:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry but I don't buy into the theory that China is going to be the biggest military threat of the new century. It will be an economic one certainly but its history shows that it's not an expansionist country and is more interested in internal stability.

The Middle Kingdom is only looking for some respect and is using its space programme to show that "anything you can do, do we can do too".

India has the biggest economic rivalry with China - they had a few serious border conflicts in the modern era - so is least likely to co-operate.

Bizarrely Japan might actually want to co-operate with China to try 're-set' the terrible legacy of its own war crimes carried out during the 1937-45 occupation.

SkyMan1958
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posted 02-05-2011 07:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dom:
Sorry but I don't buy into the theory that China is going to be the biggest military threat of the new century. It will be an economic one certainly but its history shows that it's not an expansionist country and is more interested in internal stability...
China's history very much shows it to be an expansionist country. Last I heard tell there are plenty of people that got annexed in the last 75 years that didn't want to be part of China. I don't know if you've seen it recently, but there are plenty of places where the Chinese have shown maps of what they consider China. In addition to the current borders of China, these maps show Mongolia, portions of Vietnam, North Korea, northern India and eastern Russia as "part" of China. While for the most part I think this historical map is accepted as "dead" by the Chinese, there is no question that there are Ocean/Sea borders that they claim that are far outside the realm of internationally accepted maritime borders.

Personally I have no problem with operating with the Chinese in space ONCE the Chinese have spent all the money and time necessary to bring themselves up to the US/Russian level of technology and proficiency. Helping them BEFORE that just gives them a technology transfer that is not helpful to us.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-06-2011 07:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Washington Post reports that diplomatic talk of cooperation between China and the U.S. in space has so far found little traction.
The Chinese leadership has shown scant interest in opening up the most sensitive details of its program, much of which is controlled by the People’s Liberation Army.

At the same time, Chinese scientists and space officials say US wariness of China’s extraterrestrial intentions, as well as bans on some high-technology exports, makes cooperation problematic.

For now, the US-China relationship in space appears to mirror the one on Earth: a still-dominant but fading superpower facing a new and ambitious rival, with suspicion on both sides.

"Without establishing mutual strategic trust between the two countries, there won't be any substantial cooperation in the space field," said Song Xiaojun, a military specialist and commentator on China’s CCTV. "It depends on whether the US can put away its pride and treat China as a partner to cooperate on equal terms."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-14-2011 12:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As Space Politics reports, the first draft by the U.S. House of Representatives on a continuing resolution to fund the remainder of FY2011 includes a provision specific to China.
There is also one specific provision restricting NASA spending: neither NASA or the Office of Science and Technology Policy use any funding in the CR to "develop, design, plan, promulgate, implement, or execute a policy, program, order, or contract of any kind to participate, collaborate, or coordinate in any way with China or any Chinese-owned company" without authorization in a future law. It also prevents NASA from spending any money "to effectuate the hosting of official Chinese visitors at facilities belonging to or utilized by" NASA. That language is most likely the work of Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), chairman of the appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over NASA and also a major critic of cooperation with China.

issman1
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posted 02-14-2011 12:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Perhaps this Mr. Wolf should be informed that by the end of this year only two nations will be capable of sending and returning humans from orbit for many years to come.

Does he even know what the International Space Station is all about?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-14-2011 12:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The International Space Station was never intended to be a "world space station," where anyone who could reach or contribute to it could join the program. It was designed as a cooperative program between partners that were already working together, namely NASA, CSA, ESA and JAXA (Roscosmos was brought in later as a partner to NASA).

At this point, the docking logistics alone call into question any extended participation by China, assuming they were capable and interested (both of which are questionable at best). Between Soyuz, Progress, ATV, HTV, Dragon and Cygnus (to say nothing of future CCDev spacecraft), the ISS has a fairly full plate of visiting vehicles.

issman1
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posted 02-14-2011 01:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well if China is no longer "interested", who can blame it.

It's abundantly clear that ISS will never deliver it's original scientific promises. Turning it into a National Laboratory sounds all well and nice, but a complete misnomer.

Where the station has proven it's value is in global outreach and as a template for future joint missions. Why the Chinese have been made persona non grata (when even Canada, ESA and Japan offer no human spaceflight capabilities) is bizarre.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-14-2011 01:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The space station is just now nearing full utilization and has about a decade, if not two decades of science-dedicated operations ahead of it. To suggest that the ISS cannot meet its science objectives is therefore premature at best.

But that has little if any bearing on U.S.-China cooperation in space.

The ISS partners (including Russia) have said that no serious consideration has been given to China because China has never requested such. It is not NASA's, nor any of the other partners' responsibility to invite China into the program. When China is ready, it can formally request entrance into the ISS and then the partners can consider the merits of their proposal.

issman1
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posted 02-14-2011 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I truly hope that a major breakthrough is made based upon ISS research. And if there was any criticism on my part, it's aimed squarely at NASA's political masters.

Seems to me that Russia was invited to become an ISS partner for the very same reason China has been ostracized.

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posted 02-14-2011 03:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alcyone   Click Here to Email alcyone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Probably everyone was getting ready to "look past ideological differences" in space when China, without ANY attempt to warn other nations, on Jan. 11 2007, used a ground-based missile to hit and destroy one of its aging satellites orbiting over 500 miles up. The resulting debris (I think of it as space pollution) is a hazard to other satellites and manned spacecraft, including China's. This act was in stark contrast to the spirit of openness and cooperation that built the ISS.

At a point in the future where the Chinese do not feel the need to be so secretive and militaristic about their essentially 1960's Soviet space tech space program, maybe they will be invited to the party like everyone else.

arjuna
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This week's issue of The Economist has a very instructive article on the subject of space security/cooperation and new national entrants to space technology. It makes reference to the just-released U.S. Dept. of Defense/Office of the Director of National Intelligence report on National Security Space Policy.

Summarizing the Economist article using some direct quotes: space is an increasingly congested, contested and competitive place, in which America is now no longer uncontested top dog, but merely first among equals. China has engaged in bad behavior in the past (cf. ASAT strike in 2007), but seems to be learning how to be a good space neighbor. Given the inevitability of increased international competition and access to space, American leadership in increasing Space Situational Awareness is essential. The American space program needs major reform, while continuing to support emerging and existing aerospace companies. Internationally, America should lead by example and seek avenues in which to cooperate as equal partners - even when this may not actually be true from a technological standpoint.

To add my own thoughts as someone with many years of experience working in Asia, jingoistic finger-pointing or national arrogance will not serve anyone's interests except, perhaps, defense contractors. While I recognize that China's dual-use approach to space and their own nationalistic impulses presents a challenge for the West, it must be said that given the history of the West's dealings with China in the last 300 years [cf. the Opium Wars], China has some very understandable sensitivities. So a confrontational or a condescending approach to that country is highly likely to be counter-productive.

China is a major force to be reckoned with. They have the bucks to make Buck Rodgers, while we don't seem to be able to muster that at the moment. Demanding that they kowtow to the U.S.'s superior technology/strategy/program will only inflame relations and serve no one's interests.

We should not be naive about China's dual-use ambitions for space - or their sometime proclivity for bombastic nationalism - but neither should we demand that they play the game our way or else, because if we take that attitude they surely won't. A more respectful and cooperative approach, while still being realistic about inherent competition in national security objectives, would be a much wiser strategy. Looking at space endeavors as a positive-sum game rather than a zero-sum one is critical.

As has been said many times before, the best way to make China into an enemy is to treat them like one.

And finally, just to be clear, I'm not suggesting that anyone here has shown any of the negative characteristics that I mentioned, but they do exist elsewhere.

alcyone
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posted 02-15-2011 10:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alcyone   Click Here to Email alcyone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by arjuna:
China is a major force to be reckoned with. They have the bucks to make Buck Rogers, which we don't seem to be able to muster at the moment.
If criticizing China's space achievements (they are setting milestones the US reached in the early to mid 1960's) is not okay, then casually dismissing current efforts in space by the US or anybody else should not be acceptable either. Your "they've got money so anything they do is okay and we have to be nice to them" approach is a good one for business, ie "making bucks" I suppose, but it is not the only one that matters. The peaceful exploration of space transcends that way of thinking. China can and probably will become a full international partner in space, but it is up to them to make that happen.

arjuna
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posted 02-16-2011 05:56 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by alcyone:
Your "they've got money so anything they do is okay and we have to be nice to them" approach is a good one for business, ie "making bucks" I suppose, but it is not the only one that matters.
That is not at all what I said. Constructive criticism delivered with civility is perfectly appropriate. Indeed, not to express a grievance over the 2007 ASAT test would have been unwise. (There are a lot of other areas where the same is true: Tibet, human rights, IP issues, et al. The point is that tactics and mode of delivery matter.) Making one’s point to China with condescension and hostility is likely to be successful only if one likes things that blow up in one’s face in a most unpleasant way.

As for the blindingly obvious fact that China is doing things that we already did in the 1960s, I would suggest that it may be a good idea to have a look at the big picture, including the direction that country seems to be headed. For anyone who does not appreciate the scale and speed of China’s rise – or the historical significance of that fact, well, there’s probably not a lot anyone can say to them.

Anyway, this is getting very much off the point, and while I have much more to say about these issues, I’ll refrain from doing it here.

SpaceAholic
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posted 02-16-2011 07:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by arjuna:
China has engaged in bad behavior in the past (cf. ASAT strike in 2007), but seems to be learning how to be a good space neighbor.
Unfortunately neither their intentions or subsequent actions validate this position.

alcyone
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posted 02-16-2011 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alcyone   Click Here to Email alcyone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by arjuna:
For anyone who does not appreciate the scale and speed of China's rise - or the historical significance of that fact...
I do appreciate China's super robust economy and its growing influence in the world. Japan was described similarly in the 1980's, it was one of the Asian economic tigers, remember? Need I mention that Germany had a terrific economy in the 1930's, when the US was mired in the Great Depression. I think you do not appreciate that trade is not the only platform for healthy international relations. For international space exploration, mutual goals, openness, a unity of trust and respect, are the other planks that matter just as much as money.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-30-2011 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Reuters reports that first taikonaut Yang Liwei said on Friday his country and the United States should make good on their presidents' promises to cooperate in space.
"I think the two countries should proactively implement the intent expressed in the joint communique to eliminate obstacles and promote exchange and cooperation in our space programs," Yang Liwei, now the vice director of the country's Manned Space Engineering Office, said...

He said the Chinese government has spent more than 20 billion yuan ($3.1 billion) in the first phase of its space planning, but has no specific target to put a man on the moon...

"For myself, I hope to one day set foot on the moon, like the beautiful Chinese legend of Chang'e," Yang said, referencing the namesake of China's moon orbiter, a mythical Chinese goddess who was banished to Earth and later flew to the moon only to regret abandoning her husband.

Yang then gave more down-to-earth reasoning for China's space ambitions.

"Of course, it also has an important value for the nation's image and prestige," he said.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-11-2011 06:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space News reports that the White House views China as a potential partner for an eventual human mission to Mars.
Testifying May 4 before the House Appropriations commerce, justice, science subcommittee, White House science adviser John Holdren said near-term engagement with China in civil space will help lay the groundwork for any such future endeavor. He prefaced his remarks with the assertion that human exploration of Mars is a long-term proposition and that any discussion of cooperating with Beijing on such an effort is speculative.

"[What] the president has deemed worth discussing with the Chinese and others is that when the time comes for humans to visit Mars, it's going to be an extremely expensive proposition and the question is whether it will really make sense -- at the time that we're ready to do that -- to do it as one nation rather than to do it in concert," Holdren said in response to a question from Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), a staunch China critic who chairs the powerful subcommittee that oversees NASA spending...

Recently enacted legislation prohibits U.S. government collaboration with the Chinese in areas funded by Wolf's subcommittee, whose jurisdiction also includes the U.S. Commerce and Justice departments, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

When asked how he interpreted the new law, part of a continuing resolution approved in April that funds federal agencies through Sept. 30, Holdren said the administration will live within the terms of the prohibition.

"I am instructed, after consultation with counsel, who in turn consulted with appropriate people in the Department of Justice, that that language should not be read as prohibiting actions that are part of the president's constitutional authority to conduct negotiations," Holdren said. "At the same time there are obviously a variety of aspects of that prohibition that very much apply and we'll be looking at that on a case by case basis in [the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy] to be sure we are compliant."

SkyMan1958
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Posts: 424
From: CA.
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posted 08-09-2011 03:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I support eventual cooperation with China in space AFTER they have spent the money and time to get themselves up to the capability of the US and Russia... say another five to 10 years.

Before that time I would not do any significant manned projects with them as I believe that we'd in essence just be giving them a technology transfer and we've done enough of that already.

If they would like to put a scientific package on an unmanned extra-terrestrial probe in the intervening years I would support that.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-03-2011 08:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Former astronaut Leroy Chiao calls for making China our new partner in space in an op-ed for CNN.
There are those who argue against any space cooperation with China on grounds that the Chinese would obtain technological secrets and capabilities from the U.S. The fact is, nothing of military value would be transferred in either direction, just as such knowledge has not been transferred to or from Russia as a result of the positive and successful collaboration in our civil space programs. China would only learn from us about how to operate with a civil space station.


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