NASA and China Collaborates for Lunar and Space Exploration Projects

By M. Grace, October 03, 2018 04:10 AM

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine met with CNSA Administrator Zhang Kejian during the International Astronautical Congress (NASA)

Despite the current constraints between the United States and China, the administrator of The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and China National Space Administration agreed to work together.

During the panel discussion of the 69th International Astronautical Conference last October 1, which was participated by leaders of several space agencies, Zhang Kejian, administrator of the CNSA said that China was open to working with international partners for lunar explorations and future space station.

"CNSA is willing to join our hands with other international partners for the benefit of human civilization and progress of human society," Zhang said, speaking through a translator. "I had a very good discussion with NASA Administrator Mr. Jim Bridenstine for bilateral cooperation in this particular area. I think the response was very positive."

In response, Bridenstine noted that China and NASA are already cooperating when it comes to aeronautics and Earth Science.

"We do cooperate in a lot of ways, but that doesn't mean our interests are always aligned," he said. "Some of these decisions are going to be made above the pay grade of the NASA administrator."

"To the extent that agencies and countries from around the world can cooperate on space, it is absolutely in our interest to do so," he added. "I look forward to exploring more opportunities to do that."

"I believe that the working teams of both sides can start preparation of a cooperation list," Zhang responded. "We can dash out those that cannot be implemented now, or are above our pay grade, and then we can start cooperating on the substantial part."

"We can share data and collaborate that way so that each country can learn more about science," Bridenstine said. He also agreed that sharing information is another area to cooperate.

"There is no issue related to space more important to for all of us to get right than that issue," he said. "We need to preserve the space environment for generations to come. The only way we're going to be able to do that internationally is to collaborate."

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