Thursday, April 29, 2010

Astronauts at Symposium Urge More International Cooperation

Three former space voyagers speaking at the National Space Symposium urged more international cooperation, according to Space.com.

"I don't think any major effort in space will again be done by a single nation," [former NASA astronaut Tom] Henricks said. "They may each have individual sub goals, but it's a human endeavor to go to Mars, and I think that's the way it needs to be approached."

The article reports that Henricks was part of an American delegation that recently visited Chinese space and launch facilities.

"More importantly than seeing the facility and how modern and prepared the Chinese are for the programs, it was seeing that they are open and willing to cooperate and to move forward," Henricks said. While America has a longer space history to draw upon, China will have more resources to devote to space in the future, he said, and these factors would make for a great collaboration.

The report stands in contrast to critics of President Obama's proposed FY 2011 NASA budget who want the United States to go it alone and who falsely claim the Chinese are about to surpass the U.S. in space technology by landing on the Moon.

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