China’s Space Station More International Than Soon-to-be Defunded ISS

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The International Space Station. Could it be less international than the oncoming "China's Space Station?" | 3DSculptor | Shutterstock.com

This article details news of NASA’s new budget, the fate of the International Space Station, and China’s solution to funding space exploration.

After April’s confirmation of Jim Bridenstine as the newest NASA Administrator, NASA announced that 2019’s budget did not include funding for the International Space Station after 2025. They did not specify whether this meant that the station will or won’t be available to private parties.

But China plans to construct a totally operational space station by 2022. Given how the country’s last attempt at a space station went, one has to wonder about this plan.

What will be different about this attempt than the Tiangong-1 attempt?

image of OneSpace Rocket for article China Wants to Build a New Space Station Amid NASA Budget Cuts
OneSpace Rocket via Space.com

A Brief and Recent History of China’s Space Exploits

After the U.S. and Russia, China was the third country to send humans into space.

The country had plans for a long-term lunar base as early as 2017 that also included Mars goals. They became the leader at the Paris Accord talks, the country plans to go totally cashless, and they are the biggest example of a nation embracing automation.

With that in mind, it is no wonder that China also broke into the private space race in May of this year. The OneSpace rocket launch secured China’s position as one of the leaders in space exploration.

Now, the country announced new plans for another (hopefully successful) space station.

image of space station for article China Wants to Build a New Space Station Amid NASA Budget Cuts

A New Station for a Totally New Initiative

China’s next attempt at a space station won’t be named like the Tiangong-1. It will be called “China’s Space Station” (CSS) and comes as part of a new project for the country.

China’s Manned Space Agency (CMSA) entered an agreement with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).

Their Memorandum of Understanding lets public institutes, researchers, schools, and private companies conduct experiments on the CSS.

Despite the name, Chinese ambassador to the UN Shi Zhongjun told the United Nations that the CSS will belong to the world and not just China.

“Outer space should become a new domain for promoting the common interests of everyone, rather than a new battlefield for competition and confrontation. Guided by the idea of a shared future, the CSS will become a common home in space for all humankind.”

Perhaps China will invite U.S. astronauts and researchers to the CSS after construction.

How could NASA help China in its efforts to construct the CSS?

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