October 17, 2007 - 10:18 am - Posted by iDunzo
In interviews with reporters this week, Chinese officials have said they want to begin cooperating with the U.S. in space, including becoming a contributing member of the International Space Station project.
From the Associated Press:
“We hope to take part in activities related to the International Space Station,” Li Xueyong, a vice minister of science and technology. “If I am not mistaken, this program has 16 countries currently involved and we hope to be the 17th partner.”
Given all the recent talk about war in space, not to mention the real thing on the ground, this seems like a no-brainer. The old cold war days are gone.
U.S. concerns about working with a communist dictatorship, as the AP puts it here, are laughable. Particularly given the severely tarnished democratic credentials of Russia, a primary partner in the International Space Station.
China is growing as a power in space, with the capability to launch manned missions, blast satellites out of orbit, and plans to launch a lunar mission soon.
Officials there are now saying that first lunar probe will launch later this month, putting it hard on the heels of Japan’s Kaguya orbiter.
It would be foolish to try to keep China isolated in space. Cooperation there may not be a perfect recipe for eternal peace, but it’s a whole lot better than the kind of saber (or laser?) rattling that’s led to space-war planning on both sides.