The space shuttle Atlantis lands in Florida on the morning of July 21, 2011, marking the end of the shuttle era for NASA. (NASA/Kim Shiflett)
Just after the sunset of the U.S. space shuttle program, a new dawn appears to be breaking for China and its space ambitions: The past decade has seen China launching its first astronaut, first moon probe and first space walk; now, it’s planning for a space laboratory—launching as soon as this month, some speculate
—and eventually a space station.
Should the U.S., then, be looking to collaborate in space with China?
That’s question asked by Scott Pace, director of GW’s Space Policy Institute, in an upcoming article in the journal Space Policy. The answer? Well, it’s complicated.
In the article, published online last month, Dr. Pace recommends the U.S. work with China in space science missions, but not in the realm of human spaceflight.
As he writes: “It is not a question of whether China will have a full range of human spaceflight capabilities, but a question of when and what they intend to do with those capabilities.”