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NASA Administrator Mike Griffin to visit China 70

Maggie McKee writes "China has repeatedly extended a hand to the US to work together in space, but for military and political reasons the US has always refused. Now, New Scientist Space reports that NASA chief Mike Griffin and other bigwigs are about to head to China for a meet-and-greet. But Griffin says: 'This is a get-acquainted session, and it is nothing more, and to characterise it as anything more would be to create expectations that would be possibly embarrassing to us or embarrassing to China.'"
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NASA Administrator Mike Griffin to visit China

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  • What space race? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BunnyClaws ( 753889 )
    Some have argued this is because of a reluctance to share technologies that might be co-opted for military purposes, but others say it is simply down to politics, with space the last bastion of Cold War thinking.
    Does anyone really think we are in a space race with China? I know they have managed to launch a man into space but does that really make it a space race?
    • Is it a space race? Yes, but they are several space laps down. Still, there is a long way to go to the space finish, and if we just pulled into the space pits and sat there, they could catch up.
      • Re:What space race? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Friday September 22, 2006 @11:44PM (#16164973) Homepage Journal
        ... and if we just pulled into the space pits and sat there, they could catch up.

        Which, given the current pathetic state of our space program, makes me expect we'll see a yellow star on a red flag planted on the Moon long before we see another Stars and Stripes.
        • by FleaPlus ( 6935 ) *
          Which, given the current pathetic state of our space program, makes me expect we'll see a yellow star on a red flag planted on the Moon long before we see another Stars and Stripes.

          Of course, last I checked, the US devoted more resources to its space program each year than all the other world's space programs combined.
          • That doesn't mean they actually accomplished much, except maybe for pissing billions of dollars into a shuttle prgram doing nothing except making excuses to not fly the thing.
    • Once China announced that they were going to the moon, it turned into one. First for presitage, but the real answer is history and land space. There are only several places on the moon which have 24x7 sun; the poles. If anybody wants to create a base, they pretty much must be at the poles to have CHEAP energy. In addition, it is only at the poles that there is a chance of ice. If a glacier of ice can be found, then it is possible to live much cheaper there. All in all, this is a land grab. Whoever gets ther
      • Well, I'm for space exploration, but not for a new space race.

        A "Space Race" is about national prestige. We've been there, done that as far as the moon is concerned. Furthermore, if we head for manned missions to Mars, we must remember we're being judged on a sliding scale. It should be no surprise that we can do that, which means from the point of view of national prestige, we can only lose.

        What I'd like to see is a new effort towards establishing international technological prestige, but in a differnt
        • Take a look at history. China was a super power, long ago. But then they gave up exploration. When they did that, they slowly decade. Same for Britain. It comes down to limited resources esp. with the moon. GWB is speaking of sending rockets from the moon using the limited ice that is there, but that is only because he is a moron. Instead, that ice will allow the creation of a cheap base. Without it, the base creation will be several times more costly. This race to the moon is needed, now. If nothing else,
          • by hey! ( 33014 )
            Take a look at history. China was a super power, long ago. But then they gave up exploration. When they did that, they slowly decade.

            It's an interesting theory, but short on specifics of why. A better explanation is that empires give up exploration as the administrative troubles involved in running the known empire start to multiply.

            If we cure every disease today, then you have a very long life group of ppl. The problem is that we do not have the jobs.

            The people will create the jobs, as well as consume th
      • Once Bush is gone, the next president will almost certainly change the direction from the ares I/V and CEV, to Ares V and a moon lander. The reason is that we will have cheap access for small items and the BA-330. All that will be needed is a large capacity rocket and a lander to create the bases.

        You do realize that the entire Constellation effort is for moon landings by 2020 and is driven by a Bush mandate right? You seem to be implying that the Ares I and CEV are somehow not a part of the lunar archite

        • Wow oh wow! Bush as Mr. Science! You neocon/fascists don't miss a trick!

          I am sure you just couldn't resist a chance to take a swipe at Bush.

          You mean there's been only $500 billion spent and still no sign of Osama bin Laden and Bush said he's unconcerned about him, so he's unconcerned about 9/11/01 attacks, but that's supposed to be the reason for his "War on Terra" --- what am I missing here??? Oh, so it's about something else, is it???($$$)

          George W. Bush [bushisantichrist.com], born on July 6th, 1946, at 6:00.

          • I'm sorry...you must have meant to be responding to someone else's post because your ramblings have nothing to do with the facts in my original post.
        • Actually, I am very aware of the effort. I am also aware that once the BA-330 comes out in the 2011, we will then have the ability to send 6-9 ppl at a time to the moon, while the CEV will have 4. I am also aware that several COTS system will have the ability to send up 6 ppl at a time and what appears to be at a much lower costs than Ares I. Considering that the CEV is looking to be going somewhere around 2012-2014 (You really do not expect it to be done on time? ). That leaves the the Ares V, a heavy lif
          • I find it intersting that you have no doubt that the BA-330 will come out on time, on budget and on performance but you have little faith in CEV's schedule. As for COTS, there are only two funded Space Act Agreements (not several) although "several" of the finalists (if you include the non-selects) did have 6 person capacity. I'll be surprised if they CDR version actually accomodates as many. Yes, the COTS proposals are offering significant cost savings - that's precisely why NASA created the Commercial
            • as to the BA-330, keep in mind that it is simply a scaled up version of genesis. All in all, it will take as long or longer than the CEV which is a brand new vehicle (of which a good chunk is being designed, literally, in my back yard :) ). Sorry about the "several", I always think of that as 2 or more, but it is more than 2. The thing is, that a few more of the finalists will almost certainly go forward on their designs (scale composites comes to mind). And yes, I am very aware of all that you said. But n
  • China and the ISS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quadraginta ( 902985 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @08:52PM (#16164682)
    From the article:

    Despite the fact that China has repeatedly asked to participate in the International Space Station, the US has always refused. Some have argued this is because of a reluctance to share technologies that might be co-opted for military purposes, but others say it is simply down to politics, with space the last bastion of Cold War thinking.

    If so, I wonder if it's really the US that blackballs the Chinese. The country with the most to fear from China is actually Russia. They share an enormous common border. On the Russian side you've got endless empty taiga, natural resources galore...a paltry 140 million citizens...on the Chinese side, a billion hungry peasants. What's the Chinese for Lebensraum, I wonder?

    Me, I'm totally OK with a strictly competitive stance vis-a-vis the Chinese in space. Much more gets done in that brisk atmosphere than in the suffocating 'cooperation in space' fug through which the ISS drifts, poor thing.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by krell ( 896769 )
      "What's the Chinese for Lebensraum, I wonder?"

      Tibet. Oh, almost forgot, they have another word for it too. Taiwan.
    • by yog ( 19073 )
      My thoughts:

      Back when the ISS was first being designed, China had almost nothing to contribute except maybe some cheap labor. Today, they have a lot of bucks but not much space tech. They would love to collaborate with the U.S., obviously, to obtain its space tech. However China's government has painted the U.S. as an adversary power for so long now that it would appear hypocritical to suddenly become friends and allies.
      They need a huge outside enemy to continue justifying their existence as an unelected
      • by scuba0 ( 950343 )
        Well since NASA is having problems with funding and if the Bush administration is the only thing keeping them afloat with traveling to space I'd say it isn't such a longshot...
      • While I agree with your assessment of China, your treatment of Russia as a poor partner is more than harsh. They did have money issues, but that was due to their break up. Now, they are a good partner WRT funding.

        As to lower quality, well, we have had more than our fair shares of issues. Many of ours were in the initial design. From Russia, we have learned a great deal about staying up there for long periods of time. After all, look at the history of the our only station; sky lab. We basically let it burn
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by grumpyman ( 849537 )
      Lebensraum - you know which country knows this much better and have current practical experience? You know it and that's the country that occupy "territory believed especially by them to be necessary for national existence or economic self-sufficiency". You tell me about the situation at Middle East/Iraq/Isarel/Saudi then I'll tell you more about your insightful speculation on China's motive. Guys, when is this going to end? Posters put non-fact speculative FUD about China, readers agree, moderators mod
      • Well, Canada does have oil.

        BTW: lebensraum - living space. I don't think many Americans want to live in Iraq or Canada.
      • A better example is Mexico/America. America has a higher standard of living and more resources. Mexico is poor WRT this. And what is the situation? Well, we have a strained relation. We have numerous Mexicans who are moving here for a better chance at life. And we are now talking about putting up a fence (which will be worthless) and doing a new green card (which is also worthless, but is a prelude to forcing a federal card on all Americans).
      • by krell ( 896769 )
        "Lebensraum - you know which country knows this much better and have current practical experience?"

        Probably the Soviet Union. It's gone now, but it was the major expansionist/imperialist power of the past several decades.

        "If Canada is a Muslim country, you bet the army, instead of navy/marines will step over before going to Iraq"

        What does Muslim have to do with anything? The Canada mention didn't make sense.

        "What's the American for Lebensraum, I wonder?""

        The American word was "Manifest Destin
    • If the Chinese were hungry, what would they do with Russian tundra and permafrost?

      My understanding is that China has a lot of untapped resources as it is.
      • If the Chinese were hungry, what would they do with Russian tundra and permafrost?

        Drill for oil, mostly. China now imports more than 30% of its oil and demand is growing spectacularly.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        They don't need tundra. There's plenty of space in the Russian Far East for them to settle in, and they are already doing that, it's just not backed by the Chinese government (openly, anyway). But the number of Chinese settlers is certainly growing rapidly.
  • Hmm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AndresCP ( 979913 )
    Shouldn't what is apparently a published piece of scientific work use the apostrophe correctly to indicate ownership? (top of page 4, pdf in TFA).
  • ..... oh wait.... :)
  • We need to stop refusing to do (non-military) things with China. I think it's retarded that we can't share in scientific efforts with anyone who owns half our national debt. Hey China, you should tell us to pay up for being such jerks.
    • We need to stop refusing to do (non-military) things with China.

      Pay close attention to the blury line is between military and non-military.

      I think it's retarded that we can't share in scientific efforts with anyone who owns half our national debt. Hey China, you should tell us to pay up for being such jerks.

      They get more mileage (and more money) out of maintaining that debt.
    • Well, tell china to stop being such jerks. They fix their money to the dollar. That allows them to accumulate dollars, while draining us. There actions indicate that they are meaning to sink us. If they really want to share in efforts, then they should treat us as an equal partner, not as one that wants to quietly dominant us. BTW, if they ever do float their money, a lot more trade will occur which will tie us even further together. At that time, I suspect that we will share more with them.
    • What benefit could the US expect from cooperation from China? Would it shrink the trade deficit, raise the value of the yuan, moderate the brutal Chinese regime? Will they provide money or advanced space technology? Most space technology is duel use, so why educate them? The US is rightly cautious.

    • Gee, the corporations have shipped most of the tech jobs there (present and future), it only makes sense to have the same people who design the chips, design the software, and design the machinery, cooperate as well.....or perhaps I'm missing something here??

      21st Century Reading List

      Blood Money by T. Christian Miller, Hostile Takeover by David Sirota, The Bush Agenda by Antonia Juhasz, Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast, Jacked and also Other People's Money by Nomi Prins, Confessions of an Economic Hitman by

  • by jjeffries ( 17675 ) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @12:47AM (#16165219)
    That's not really China, it's actually a movie set in the middle of the desert...

  • Haven't you heard? All of Space is the sovereign territory of the US -of- Fuckin' A! Uncle Sam'll be damned if he gonna let any slope get his yellow hands on a piece of that pie.
  • ... was wondering if this could be related to this other Slashdot article [slashdot.org].
  • First China.... and then to the moon!!!!
  • But only Nixon could go to China!
  • Naw... I have to be dreaming. The U.S. owes an apology to the "father of Chinese rocketry," who was a key contributor to rocketry in the U.S. before he was deported.

    The reason China was able to rapidly build a missile program and later a space program is because the United States deported a JPL founder in the mid-1950s as a result of the McCarthy era. Tsien Hsue-Shen was one of the key developers of missile technology for the U.S. Army, and was sent to Germany on behalf of the Army to interview von Bra

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