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NASA rebukes China — RT World News


The head of the US agency has complained that Beijing does not cooperate with Washington on space projects

NASA chief Bill Nelson has chastised China’s space program for refusing to work with the United States on its operations, saying Beijing’s secrecy has created unnecessary risks.

“We just haven’t been able to get any transparency from the Chinese space program,” Nelson told reporters on Tuesday. He made his comments during a press briefing ahead of SpaceX’s successful launch on Wednesday of a rocket carrying a new crew of astronauts to the International Space Station.

Nelson warned of an emerging space race with China and frequently called on China’s space program to collaborate with NASA. Lamenting on Tuesday that no such cooperation from Beijing has taken place, he gave the example of an April 2021 incident in which Chinese space officials refused to share tracking data with the United States. States or other countries as a rocket booster returns to earth after carrying a space station module into orbit.

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“They didn’t reserve enough fuel to have a controlled re-entry, and thank God it went down into the Indian Ocean,” Nelson called back. “But he could have fallen in Europe, he could have fallen in Saudi Arabia, he could have fallen in Greece.” He added that NASA engineers were forced to do their own calculations of the booster’s trajectory to Earth.

We want cooperation with the Chinese, but it takes two to tango.

In the absence of such transparency, Nelson said NASA “will address this as it progresses.” However, he previously acknowledged that NASA abides by a 2011 law that prohibits the agency from engaging in direct collaboration with the Chinese government or any China-affiliated organization without explicit approval from Congress and federal authorities. responsible for law enforcement. Chinese officials called the ban, called the Wolf Amendment, “unfortunate” and an obstacle to direct cooperation with NASA.


China is not a member of the International Space Station (ISS) program. NASA has called for keeping the ISS in service, continuing its partnership with Russia, until 2030. The current ISS agreement between NASA and Roscosmos runs until 2024.

On Tuesday, Nelson said NASA had “the White House Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” to extend the collaboration until 2030, despite the rise of geopolitical tensions linked to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. He highlighted past collaborations with Moscow, beginning with the Apollo-Soyuz docking in 1975, and the lasting friendships that were formed.

“Despite the horrors that we see with our eyes daily on television about what is happening in Ukraine as a result of the political decisions taken by the President of Russia, despite all this, despite an ongoing war in Ukraine, I see this professional relationship with the astronauts and the cosmonauts and the ground crews in the two respective mission controls, I see that continuing”, said Nelson.


China denounces US sanctions against Russia

A U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report released earlier this month suggests that China and Russia are aiming to “Undermining the global leadership of the United States and its allies in space.” Both countries are expanding their military capabilities in space and see this area as key to winning modern wars, the DIA said. China may be considering using space technology to block US radars and jam sophisticated weapons systems, the report adds.

The European Space Agency (ESA) suspended a Mars mission with Russia last month and halted cooperation with Moscow. Speaking at NASA’s press conference on Tuesday, ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher said his group of 28 countries could undertake the ExoMars rover mission alone or seek another partner, such as NASA. , instead of working with Russia.

“What I want to come out of this crisis is to really make sure that we build a robust space industry and space infrastructure – robust in the sense that we protect our missions and our activities against this kind of thing,” he said.


RT

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