Skip to comments.NASA chief warns Congress about Chinese space station
Posted on 09/24/2020 3:18:39 PM PDT by LibWhacker
NASA chief Jim Bridenstine told lawmakers Wednesday it was crucial for the US to maintain a presence in Earth's orbit after the International Space Station is decommissioned so that China does not gain a strategic advantage.
The first parts of the ISS were launched in 1998 and it has been continuously lived in since 2000.
The station, which serves as a space science lab and is a partnership between the US, Russia, Japan, Europe and Canada, is currently expected to be operated until 2030.
"I'll tell you one thing that has me very concernedand that is that a day is coming when the International Space Station comes to the end of its useful life," said Bridenstine.
"In order to be able to have the United States of America have a presence in low Earth orbit, we have to be prepared for what comes next," he added.
To that end, NASA has requested $150 million for the 2021 fiscal year to help develop the commercialization of low Earth orbit, defined as 2,000 km (1,200 miles) or less from the planet's surface.
"We want to see a public-private partnership where NASA can deal with commercial space station providers, so that we can keep a permanent uninterrupted human presence in low Earth orbit," said Bridenstine.
"I don't think it's in the interest of the nation to build another International Space StationI do think it's in the interest of the nation to support commercial industry, where NASA is a customer."
Bridenstine warned the lawmakers this was critical to maintain US space supremacy in the face of a planned Chinese space station that Beijing hopes will be operational by 2022.
The station is named Tiangong, meaning Heavenly Palace, and in June Chinese state media announced it was partnering with 23 entities from 17 countries to carry out scientific experiments on board.
These countries included both developed and developing countries, such as France, Germany and Japan, as well as Kenya and Peru, according to Xinhua news agency.
"China is rapidly building what they call the 'Chinese International Space Station,' and they're rapidly marketing that space station to all of our international partners," said Bridenstine.
"It would be a tragedy, if, after all of his time, and all of this effort, we were to abandon low Earth orbit and cede that territory."
He explained that the microgravity of ISS offered great potential for scientific advances, from innovations in pharmaceuticals to printing 3-D human organs to the creation of artificial retinas to treat people with macular degeneration.
Bridenstine said that it was therefore necessary to fund NASA to pay companies to set up a space station, where it would be one of several customers in order to drive down its own costs.
This, he added, was vital to "ultimately not cede that territory to another country that doesn't have our interests at heart."
If it were Bush or Obama, their retort would be they already
have plans to have the space station replaced by 2050.
Well, the Chinese will have no problem with installing “Rods from God”.
I believe that the US is, via private rockets, on track to go back to the moon by 2024, and stay.
It appears to me anyway that a moon base might be more difficult to setup but more cost efficient in the long run.
There are more effective ways to do science in LEO than maintaining a multi-billion dollar space station. The USA is most certainly not going to do that alone.
The Chinese are 20 years behind. They’re thinking LEO, we’re talking about the moon. Let them put up a station. There’s so much debris in LEO, they’re going to be dealing with the same issues as the ISS, and given their terrible debris track record with Long March, a Kessler event is becoming more likely.
Good thing we now have a Space Force!
China’s version would be “Kung Pow”.
There’s commercial plans for the ISS to get an attached ‘space hotel/research’ station that’ll be separated. I’m unsure if they can do it before the ISS goes away, but they are just now launching the docking platform on a Falcon 9.
I just hope we get the Lunar Gateway and to Mars by the mid 2030’s, think NASAs better for the moon, SpaceX for Mars.
Why shouldn’t the Chinese build a space station ..
After all they stole all technology from us and the Russkies
Theyre thinking LEO, were talking about the moon.
China not only has lunar colonization plans, but was the first to explore the dark side of the moon with the Jade Rabbit lander
It’s not just the science, although that’s all we’re doing at present on ISS. LEO has strategic importance. The Chinese know that and we used to as well (star wars, etc.).
Oh we’ve got plenty of presence up there in black programs.
This is just the public consumption presence that nasa provides.
“China not only has lunar colonization plans, but was the first to explore the dark side of the moon with the Jade Rabbit lander”
There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it’s all dark.
Americans better WISE UP/
Key swamp demons were making fortunes when they allowed US companies in a number of industries including pharma, computer; and electrical as well metal fabrication components even bicycles relocate their factories in China . To the point where China was our sole supplier. The money the CCP has now comes from US .If we play our Chinese checkers right we can really turn things around for the better not only here but in China as well.
True but that doesnt seem to have been the plan. I suppose some might be used but likely only on deep military targets. They dont want widescale damage. The plan seems to have been to flood the world with backdoored electronics easily manipulated via 5G and gather what intel they could. Then in the near future take out the grid with space based energy weapons simulating an EMP. Then invade to gain more living room and access to farms. Enslave what males were available to production efforts. Gift the women to their disproportionately male population as they moved in.
More but thats the short version.
Nearly every paid off fedgov puppet after Reagan complicit.
Well that little USAF reconnaissance orbiter is pretty slick and it has a nice size payload pay and long (2-year) orbital endurance. If you supplement that with 1 or 2 smaller space stations that can go unmanned for periods, I would think that would be enough. The commercial space programs will fill in the larger scale stuff by separating the worlds multi-millionaire adventurists with some of their surplus cash.
Get SpaceX to help. They’ll build a new low-orbit space station and launch it within six months. Meanwhile, they’ll attach their rocket to the existing ISS and move it into an orbit around Mars, where it will be waiting for SpaceX crews in a few years. NASA can’t do anything by itself anymore. Let the private companies get it done.
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