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China Looks to Cooperate on ISS Work

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
April 23, 2010
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China's Tiangong-1 space laboratory with a Shenzhou spacecraft approaching it. (Credit: CNSA)

China Open To Human Spaceflight Cooperation
Aviation Week

China’s human spaceflight program is developing a 13-ton cargo carrier to supply the space station it plans to orbit late this decade, but the program’s leader is ready to discuss using it for International Space Station logistics, as well.

Wang Wenbao, head of the China Manned Space Engineering Office, says his agency is prepared to cooperate across the board on human spaceflight with NASA and other agencies, including joint human missions and unpiloted logistics with the 5.5-ton-payload-capacity cargo vehicle it plans to test after 2014-16.

That would require detailed discussions on a uniform standard for docking and other interfaces, Wang said here in his first interview with Western reporters. He hopes the issue will be addressed during NASA Administrator Charles Bolden’s delayed visit to Beijing.

“We think that a joint spaceflight mission, joint development of space equipment and also joint utilization of space platforms are the most possible field to carry out discussion at the moment,” Wang says.

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