News / Science & Technology

US and China May Cooperate in Space Exploration

George Putic
Space exploration officials from more than 30 countries met in Washington, D.C. recently to discuss how to advance the exploration and utilization of space. The meeting was organized by the U.S. State Department which, for the first time, invited officials from China's space agency, highlighting the possibility of cooperation in space exploration.
 
Cooperation between the U.S. space agency, NASA, and China's space agency was banned by Congress in 2011. However, signs are emerging that this policy may change.
 
At the International Space Exploration Forum, held January 9, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns invited all countries to participate in space exploration.
 
“Now is the time to come together to make space exploration a shared global priority, to unlock the mysteries of the universe, and to accelerate human progress here on Earth,” said Burns.
 
Xu Dazhe, head of the China's National Space Administration, attended the meeting. China Daily quoted Dazhe as saying his participation was a signal that China is willing to cooperate with other countries in exploring space. 
 
Scott Pace, who heads the Space Policy Institute and is a professor of international affairs at George Washington University, said the Chinese were specifically invited to be part of the international discussion, but warned against excessive optimism.
 
“There really hasn’t been a political breakthrough that would then lead to large, symbolic, direct cooperative activity. There are, however a number of small opportunities that I think we can and should be able to pursue,” said Pace.
 
Pace pointed out that during the Cold War, the U.S. cooperated with the Soviet Union on some aspects of space exploration.
 
“It was in very specific scientific areas: earth science, solar physics, some biometrical data. And I think similar levels of cooperation can certainly occur with China today, and probably should,” Pace continued.
 
Also present at the meeting were countries not usually associated with space exploration - like Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.
 
Pace said many countries use space for practical purposes, such as navigation or communications, but they should now be more ambitious.
 
“The moon is emerging, I think, as a consensus technical focus, because it provides opportunities for countries at all levels of space development - from the very largest to very modest,” said Pace.
 
Because the Space Station is an international facility and its operational life has been extended until 2024, Pace said China may be invited to participate in experiments on board.
 
The next place where one might see cooperation with China would be on the moon, given that missions to Mars or asteroids are too difficult and expensive, even for the U.S. and Russia.

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid