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NASA Head Ignores Congress, Eyes Cooperation With China 271

Posted by timothy
from the fun-junket-too dept.
eldavojohn writes "Congress and the president haven't been exactly kind to NASA recently as far as funding goes but NASA chief Charles Bolden is ruffling some feathers with his planned trip to Beijing to investigate cooperative human space flight as well as potential Chinese involvement with the International Space Station. Such news has caused Congressman Frank Wolf to warn Bolden that 'no such planning or coordination has been approved by the Congress ... In fact, several recent NASA authorization bills have explicitly sought to place strict limitations on coordination with China.' Wolf is an outspoken critic of China in space and further warned Bolden in a letter that 'It should go without saying that NASA has no business cooperating with the Chinese regime on human spaceflight. China is taking an increasingly aggressive posture globally, and their interests rarely intersect with ours.'"
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NASA Head Ignores Congress, Eyes Cooperation With China

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  • by ehack (115197) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @08:23AM (#33851212) Journal

    Most consumer goods come from China these days, and we're told China's interests rarely intersect with the US?

    Isn't this attitude a bit ... schizoid?

    Or maybe, just dumb?

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @08:57AM (#33851348) Homepage Journal
    First and foremost the technology used in China's manned space program was overwhelmingly Russian, the US would gain very little by cooperating with them over continuing our cooperation with Russia.

    But if NASA really wants to cooperate with another space agency they should up their links with JAXA. Even though the Japanese have yet to put a man into space they have shown that it is possible to really turn around a flagging space program quickly. Before the launch of the Hayabusa in 2003 you could describe JAXA in one word: failure. As late as 2002 they were having troubles even putting a relatively basic satellite into orbit. However in recent years they have had two overwhelming successes, Hayabusa and IKAROS. They obviously know how to turn a stagnant space program around. Furthermore their interests and NASAs interests are much more in line than the interests of the US and China.
  • lead paint in toys, inferior toys that don't meat U.S. quality standards, most items having a fake UL stamp of approval (this is important, look up the Underwriters Laboratory and see what they do as for why its so important as to whether or not the stamp is legite or not)...nah, they have our best interests in mind. Just because they supply our gadget craze, doesn't mean they have our best interest in mind

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 10, 2010 @09:40AM (#33851554)

    ACLU 0%, NRA 100% The guy can't be all bad.

  • Fudge (Score:4, Interesting)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @10:24AM (#33851780) Homepage Journal

    Big pile of fudge. USA is no longer manufactures the components, it assembles the final product, that is also 'manufacturing', but it really is not.

    The proof is in this simple pudding: go to this site [] and set the 'FROM DATE' to January 1992 and leave the 'TO DATE' as the current year.

    This is the real USA economy in action.

  • Re:Capitalism (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ktappe (747125) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @10:29AM (#33851798)

    Except that NASA is paid for by taxpayers, and answers to the taxpayers via their elected representatives.

    They sure haven't been answering to this taxpayer who has been saying for years that it's moronic to end the shuttle program before its replacement is even off the drawing board. I say all power to Bolden for doing what he has to to keep his agency going when the Bush and Obama administrations shoved him in a corner.

  • Re:Good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @10:52AM (#33851898) Homepage Journal

    We don't manufacture so much as we used to but we still design stuff.

    - but China is also designing, every day, every factory has issues that are being addressed by engineers in the factories. This drives the need for more science. Also just because not EVERYTHING is outsourced yet, do not despair, one step at a time, one step at a time.

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @11:01AM (#33851934) Journal
    Consumers do NOT like Chinese goods. Large businesses do.
  • Re:Funding (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Goetterdaemmerung (140496) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @12:07PM (#33852378)

    you don't need "entire new technology" for LEO, MEO, GEO, get to the moon or mars. If it was needed, nobody would have done these things.

    Oh, but we do need "entire new technology" for these in terms of human passengers. The summary says that the purpose of the trip is to discuss human spaceflight, and it seems only prudent to discuss alternates to Russia.

    We might be able to handle close-in stuff with Russian partners and existing cargo rockets (separate launches because nothing exists that can transport both passengers and heavy cargo). However getting to, landing on, and leaving the moon or mars isn't plug-and-play. The Apollo program can't be duplicated because the schematics and records are lost. In addition, the safety paranoia wouldn't allow an equivalent program today.

    With the way things are going I don't see anyone matching the capability of the shuttle for decades, much less sending people to the moon or mars.

  • by jcampbelly (885881) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @12:08PM (#33852386)

    I woke up this morning and read the news with the blue side of the stereo glasses: "Short-sighted fear-mongering populist pandering pointlessly nationalistic republican running for re-election attempts to derail human progress again."

    Then I flipped to the red lens: "National hero fights valiantly to defend capitalism and national security against communist regime seeking to steal American jobs, overthrow American space technology superiority and likely launch weapon of mass destruction into orbit."

    After I had my coffee, I took off the goggles and rubbed my eyes.
    "The United States has moved forward with its planned defunding of an aging method of launching cargo into space, diverting all available funds to more fruitful robotic missions and more complicated manned spaceflight projects. Meanwhile, other nations and even private enterprises are developing their space programs. NASA is looking to avoid spending more of its limited resources by taking advantage of technology which is already under significant development by other technologically capable societies. With cooperation from every advanced space-faring nation, all of Human civilization stands to benefit from shared scientific developments made by each other's civilian and scientific programs."

    I've considered the "you don't understand what the Chinese are capable of!" and the "we're funding an oppressive regime!" and the "you really think they're only using this for civilian technology?" angles, and I remain unconvinced that they carry any real weight. I'm willing to be convinced, but I stopped being mystified by big political words in high school, the Red Scare is a sad chapter of our history, the Russians' and subsequent space-faring nations' contributions to our own space exploration ambitions have been fruital for everyone and from the L2 Legrangian point at >60,000 kilometers, we are all just a single, interdependent colony of ants on the surface of a tiny ball of dirt.

  • by Sulphur (1548251) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @12:54PM (#33852700)

    Random Curmudgeonly Jackass here:

    Where in the Constitution does it say to fund Planned Parenthood?

    Are fetuses massed on the Border? Are there Sleeper Cells?

  • Re:RIGHT... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jack9 (11421) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @01:33PM (#33852976)

    > Someone here sees the web as FAR to[o] important.

    I'm not sure how you can say there's an overemphasis on modern communication (vis a vis The Interweb). The advancement of group communication among humans, is probably a bit more important than an specific domain of knowledge. This is due to the tricky dependence on utilizing and growing that knowledge by communication with other humans.

    I might be in the minority, but I flat out disagree.

  • by Teancum (67324) <robert_horning.netzero@net> on Sunday October 10, 2010 @02:16PM (#33853308) Homepage Journal

    One of the roles of the 2nd Amendment is to ensure that the citizens have at least the theoretical potential of overthrowing the government if things get out of control. In almost every oppressive government that has come along, including ancient governments, denying the right of the ordinary people to possess arms has been consistently employed. It was a problem during the days of the American Revolution and the individual right to bear arms including firearms was one of the key things that formed America in the first place. New Hampshire even went so far that in their state constitution that the "right to rebellion" is one of the enumerated rights in its bill of rights.

    Besides, state militias really don't exist any more in America, and if you think a typical national guard unit cares one little bit about their state beyond mostly lip service, ask one of the guardsman this simple question: If there were conflicting orders coming from Washington DC and the state capital, who would they follow? Most (nearly all) guardsmen would drop the orders from the state government like yesterday's bad news and not even hesitate even if it meant the direct loss of that state government, its leaders, or even territory. I've even heard guardsmen say that they wouldn't even follow orders from the U.S. President in some cases if it came in conflict with orders from their commanding officer, not necessarily because it was an "unlawful order". And this is the group that the ACLU is suggesting that the 2nd Amendment only applies to?

    Mind you, I'm not dissing guardsmen who do an incredible service to this country and their communities, and have an important role to do in terms of maintaining an orderly society, but as the recipients of the mantle of a state militia acting independently of the federal armies to be a check and balance on potential abuse by the federal government violating civil liberties, they really don't do that role at all. There aren't really any groups that legitimately hold this title any more. The "militia groups" that do exist are a shadow of the real thing, and certainly aren't acting with state authorization.

"The medium is the message." -- Marshall McLuhan