Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Space World Comes to Washington


Click the arrow to watch the opening session of the International Space Exploration Forum on YouTube. Video source: NASA.

U.S. government representatives addressed a global space forum January 8 in Washington, D.C., announcing that the Obama administration intends to extend the use of the International Space Station to at least 2024.

The International Space Exploration Forum is “the first-ever ministerial-level meeting to build support for global cooperation in space exploration” according to a U.S. State Department fact sheet. “ISEF will bring together Ministers and high-level officials from approximately thirty-five space-faring countries to talk about the opportunities and challenges they share. It will feature high-level, policy discussions about the future of space exploration, developments in robotic space exploration, extending humanity’s reach beyond low-Earth orbit, and the importance of international cooperation.”

Among those 35 nations in attendance is the People's Republic of China, which is certain to outrage certain Sino-phobic members of Congress such as Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds the NASA budget.

According to an Agence France-Presse report via Yahoo News:

While many countries already work together on space projects — including the $100-billion International Space Station (ISS) — the aim of Thursday's talks was to begin to set out guidelines for global cooperation for future efforts to explore deep into our solar system, and maybe even beyond.

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