U.S. and China agree to explore space cooperation
The United States and China have agreed to discuss expanded cooperation in space science and to start a “dialogue” on human space flight and exploration, according to a joint statement released in Beijing on Tuesday. The U.S.-China Joint Statement said both nations looked forward to reciprocal visits by the NASA administrator and appropriate Chinese space leaders in 2010.
John Logsdon, a space policy analyst at George Washington University, said expanded cooperation makes sense, but only if both sides are open with each other and share the technical data necessary to ensure safe operations.
“I think it’s great,” he said in a telephone interview. “It opens the door to see whether, in fact, there’s a basis for cooperation. I think the operative word in there is ‘transparency.’ If China is willing to provide the information we need to work with them and vice versa–they were the ones who have been somewhat reticent to do that–I think it makes total sense.”
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