Russia and Europe Invite China To Join the International Space Station
March 4, 2012 • 10:02AM

"We are not a closed club, our doors are wide open," Roscosmos head, Vladimir Popovkin, said during a press conference on March 1, following the meeting in Canada of the partners of the International Space Station. Now that the assembly of the ISS is complete, the focus is on widening the array of science and technology investigations in its set of laboratories. One key way to do that, is to invite the participation of additional nations. The current partners are the U.S., Russia, the European Space Agency, Japan, and Canada.

Popovkin mentioned China and India in particular. Jean-Jacques Dordain, the head of ESA, added: "I am in favor of seeing how we can work together with China.... It will take some time for China to join us and it will take some time to have India, South Korea, Brazil." Participation could be open for scientists and engineers to contribute experiments to the orbiting lab.

It has also escaped no one's notice that with Obama's U.S. lacking any ability to take crew to the station, only Russia's Soyuz is available, with no back-up should a problem arise. China is the only other nation that has launched crew into orbit. As the station partners prepare for the arrival of the (largely imaginary) American commercial crew spacecraft, NASA is preparing designs for a docking design that can be used with a variety of craft to the station. China would happily adapt its Shenzhou ship to able to dock to the ISS. All we have to do is get rid of Obama, and anti-China ideologues, like Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), and get on with the business of space exploration.