Taylor Wang: China & US Should Explore Space Together
By Srinivas Laxman | Top News
August 16, 2012
The first ethnic Chinese astronaut to fly into space, 72-year-old Taylor Wang (王赣骏), has emphasized the need for Chinese-U.S. collaboration on future missions to Mars.
AsianScientist (Aug. 16, 2012) – The first ethnic Chinese astronaut to fly into space, 72-year-old Taylor Wang (王赣骏), has emphasized the need for Chinese-U.S. collaboration on future missions to Mars.
Wang, who was a physicist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and payload specialist on the space shuttle Challenger mission from May to June 1985, told China TV in a recent interview that there was “no reason not to collaborate.”
He pointed out that collaboration will be inevitable in future, since space missions were expensive and resources were needed. Wang was born in Jiangxi, China and he became a U.S. citizen in 1975.
His call for the U.S. and China to team up for future missions to Mars is significant in the context of scientists from both the countries exploring areas for collaboration in space at the recently-concluded Cospar 2012 meeting in Mysore.
He told China TV that NASA’s Apollo missions to the moon were mainly driven by the space race with the Russians. The final Apollo mission, Apollo 17, was launched on December 7, 1972 with a three-member crew, and was the 11th manned mission in the US Apollo space program.
“After the last flight to the moon (Apollo 17), it was a grand finale,” he told his interviewer.
He expressed confidence that the successful landing of NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars last week will ignite renewed enthusiasm among people for space exploration.
Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: Vanderbilt University Special Collections.
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