Expert slams Congress over ban on U.S.-China space cooperation

June 11, 2013 at 6:01 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 11 (UPI) -- A U.S. expert says the U.S. Congress should adopt a "more constructive set of policies" that encourages rather than bans U.S.-Chinese collaboration in space.

Gregory Kulacki, senior analyst and China project manager for the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, criticized Congress for barring NASA from participating in any partnership or collaboration with China.

"I believe the current U.S. prohibitions on cooperation with China in the area of human spaceflight are counterproductive," Kulacki said in an interview with China's state-run Xinhua News Agency.

"They serve no beneficial political, economic or strategic purpose and may, in fact, harm the strategic interests of the United States."

China's human spaceflight program poses no security risks to the United States and it also "does not threaten U.S. interests or the status of the U.S. as a leader in human spaceflight" as the United States has completed similar tasks in the 1960s and 1970s, he said.

China launched its latest manned spacecraft Tuesday on a 15-day mission to practice docking with the country's orbiting experimental Tiangong-1 space station, launched unmanned on Sept. 29, 2011.

Kulacki said he hoped with the passage of time the U.S Congress "will adopt a more constructive set of policies that encourages greater contact and cooperation between space professional in China and the United States."

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