NASA chief warns Congress about Chinese space station


NASA chief Jim Bridenstine told lawmakers Wednesday that it is important for the United States to maintain its presence in Earth orbit after the International Space Station is dismantled’ so that China does not have a strategic advantage.

NASA chief warns Congress about Chinese space station


The first part of the ISS was launched’ in 1998 and has been permanent since 2000.

The station, which serves as space science lab and is a partnership between the United States, Russia, Japan, Europe and Canada is expected’ to be operational by 2030.

"Let me tell you something that worries me a lot - and that the day is coming when the International Space The station will come to the end of its useful life," Bridenstine said.

"In order for the United States to be able to be in low-Earth orbit, we must be prepared for what lies ahead," he added.

To that end, NASA has requested 150 150 million for the fiscal year 2021 to help commercialize Earth's orbit, defined as 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) or more above the Earth's surface. not enough.

"We want to see a private partnership where NASA can deal with commercial space station providers so that we can maintain a permanent indiscriminate presence in low Earth orbit," Bernstein said.

"I don't think it's in the nation's interest to build a second international space station - I think it's in the nation's interest to support the commercial industry, where NASA is a consumer."

Bernstein warned lawmakers that it was crucial to maintaining US space supremacy over the planned Chinese space the station, which Beijing hopes will be operational by 2022.

The station is called’ Tiangong, meaning Heavenly Palace, and in June Chinese state media announced that it was partnering with 23 institutions from 17 countries to conduct scientific experiments on board.

According to the Xinhua News Agency, these countries include France, Germany and Japan, as well as developed and developing countries such as Kenya and Peru.

"China is rapidly building what it calls the 'Chinese International Space Station,' and they are rapidly marketing this space station to our international space partners," said Bridenstine.

"It would be a tragedy if, after all this time and all this effort, we give up the low orbit of the earth and take over this area."

He explained that the micro-gravity of ISS offers tremendous potential for scientific development, from innovations in pharmaceuticals to the printing of 3D human organs, to the creation of artificial retinas, to the treatment of people with macular degeneration.

Bernstein said that to fund NASA, companies needed to pay to set up a space station, which would have one of several users to reduce its own costs.

"After all, this area should not be transferred to another country in which we have no interests," he added.


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