China Wants to Join International Space Station Project
October 16, 2007 4:03 PM
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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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RE: Well Well Well
10/17/2007 11:10:13 AM
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.
"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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