US, Chinese Scientists Discuss Space Collaboration At Cospar 2012
History was created at the international space meet, Cospar 2012, when U.S. and Chinese space scientists finally shook hands and decided to explore ways of collaborating in space exploration.
AsianScientist (Jul. 23, 2012) - History was created at the international space meet, Cospar 2012, when there was renewed diplomacy between two nations which have always been suspicious of each other’s space and nuclear activities.
After many years, U.S. and Chinese space scientists finally shook hands during a closed door session and decided to explore ways of collaborating in the field of space sciences and technology.
The U.S.-China meeting, about which many were unaware of, took place while many other scientists were busy making presentations on Wednesday evening.
The meeting was open to only a few invitees. But strangely the venue was a room which allowed many curious delegates to watch the presentations by peeping through the windows.
A Cospar volunteer — a student from one of the Mysore colleges — who entered the room was requested to leave.
American scientists who were unable to participate the session, but who were familiar with what happened at the important meeting, told Asian Scientist Magazine that it took place in a congenial atmosphere and attempted to explore some areas of possible exploration.
They said that the discussions were extremely preliminary, and emphasized that it will be a positive step if the U.S. and China joined hands to explore the stars.
Asian Scientist Magazine briefly observed the presentations and one area which was considered important for collaboration was intelligence.
They said that China’s spectacular starry success undoubtedly offered the U.S. with an opportunity to co-operate.
According to them China’s achievements in space need not be viewed as a threat. The apprehension that if the U.S. joins hands with China, it would be to the latter’s advantage politically and scientifically is baseless. They said that China’s progress should be viewed as an area for future collaboration.
The meeting is significant as the U.S. officially banned any space co-operation with China in 2010. Prior to the ban, NASA administrator Charles Bolden had visited China and tried to explore ways of collaborating.
His visit, however, attracted a lot of criticism in Washington, and rumors floated around that he could be replaced. Space scientists at Cospar 2012 are now wondering what would be the reaction in Washington to this unexpected space diplomacy in Mysore.
Recently, U.S. space scientists praised China when the latter successfully carried out the docking of the manned spacecraft, Shenzhou-9 with the orbiting space laboratory, Tiangong-1.
Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: NASA/Carla Cioffi.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.