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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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Well Well Well
By cheetah2k on 10/17/2007 1:03:43 AM , Rating: 3
I know the US named the station "International" Space Station, but are they willing to make it an "Interracial" Space Station ;-p

After all, China only wants this to gain experience for their ChinaNauts in space, and their eventual landing on the moon. What concerns me is that China love to "reclaim" land by creating man made land to expand their shores. I anticipate China want to "reclaim" the moon also and claim it as their own, so what is their real agenda??

In any case, China should pay up BIG to get a piece of that ISS cherry. If not, tell em to build their own.

RE: Well Well Well
By PrinceGaz on 10/17/2007 11:10:13 AM , Rating: 2
With the amount of money the Chinese government has available to throw at whatever it likes, it probably could build its own if it wanted to.

If they are refused access to the ISS, I wouldn't be surprised if they did decide to set up their own permanently manned station within a decade or so. Probably much smaller scale than the ISS is now, but still something which they could proudly announce to their people and the world as a whole.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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