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The ISS  (Source: NASA)
China wants in, but the U.S. may not allow it

Chinese space officials today announced the country is still willing to work alongside the United States on extraterrestrial endeavors, especially the International Space Station.

"We sincerely hope to conduct cooperation with the United States in the field of space," said Li Xueyong, Vice Minister of Space and Technology.  "At some point we hope to take part in the activities relating to international space stations."

Sixteen nations are currently involved in the ISS project, but China is not one of them even though the country has one of the fastest growing space programs in the world.  China would ultimately like to have an astronaut stationed on the ISS in the future, but must convince the United States and other partners to allow a communist nation to be allowed to participate in the project.

Li did not clearly specify how China hopes to help the participating nations work on the ISS.

State media in China reported the country plans to launch its first lunar probe before November, only weeks after Japan launched one into orbit.  In 2003, China became the third nation to successfully launch an astronaut into orbit with no help from other nations.

There is growing concern over the country's expanding space program, which reached a new level after China announced it had destroyed an old satellite last January by shooting a land-based missile to destroy it.  Critics of the launch claim China could theoretically launch a missile to destroy active military satellites, though Chinese officials still claim the nation has only peaceful plans for space.

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let them join
By cambit69 on 10/16/2007 7:01:28 PM , Rating: 1
If China wants in, has significant technical, scientific, logistical, and financial contributions, then I vote to have them join. It makes me sad to see political and cultural differences impede space exploration, although that comment is naive since both countries US and China are only doing it to exploit military advantages. However if that is whats necessary to broaden space exploration then it's a necessary evil.

I've traveled and studied in China for 4 years. a lot of differences between the two states are mostly stemmed from lack of knowledge and ignorance from both sides. having a joint space project is something that should be viewed as bridging the cultural gap!

lastly, if we can do it with russia why not with china?

RE: let them join
By rsmech on 10/17/2007 11:36:37 PM , Rating: 1
The only technical contributions would be from technology we gave them. Since it was discovered how they received this technology this is the next avenue they have to gain more. If military exploits are part of this why would we involve a them? If we discovered something we would share a little with our allies. If we're not sharing with them there is a reason. I understand your experience there is something I don't have, my question is did you spend it with the people or the politicians? I don't have a lot of faith in many of our politicians, but I have less in theirs. I think showering them with an economic boom is better than a joint space project. A society with more money will seek more freedoms. They will become more self reliant.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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