NASA is ready to cooperate with China in space

(ORDO NEWS) — During the International Astronautical Congress, which was held in Paris from September 18 to 20, 2022, NASA administrator Bill Nelson said that the possibility of cooperation with China in space “depends on China.”

He noted that China and NASA have recently coordinated their actions on issues such as the orbits of Martian spacecraft, but added that the necessary openness and transparency of actions from the Chinese side is missing.

While Nelson’s remarks at first glance suggest that NASA is open to discussion at some level, the agency is largely barred from bilateral engagement with China.

A law passed by Congress in 2011, commonly referred to as the “Wolf Amendment,” put in place barriers that restrict US agencies from dealing with Chinese government organizations such as CNSA without prior authorization from the US government.

The United States and China are currently seeking partners for their lunar exploration programs.

NASA is advancing the Artemis program, which is at the heart of the agency’s plans to establish an outpost on the moon, and is preparing to launch the Artemis I expedition, followed by crewed lunar missions.

Meanwhile, China is developing the capabilities needed to land taikonauts on the moon and plans to build the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) with Russia and other partners in the 2030s.

U.S. and Chinese interests in particular have already clashed as the countries selected potential landing sites around the lunar south pole for the planned Artemis III and Chang’e 7 expeditions, raising the question of whether the two nations can coordinate.


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