Published: Sun, June 03, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Spacewatch: all aboard, China's open invitation to boldly go

Spacewatch: all aboard, China's open invitation to boldly go

The future of the global space station (ISS), led by NASA and Roscosmos, is in question.

In 2016, the two signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to develop the space capabilities of United Nations member states via opportunities to use the station, which China expects to be operational by 2022.

"This is an agreement which will allow the entire world to use, for scientific purposes, the China Space Station when it will be ready", Pippo said.

Developed by a team of 11 students, the initial ground experiments proved successful, as the broccoli grew faster and significantly larger than the control study.

The similarities to the International Space Station likely aren't a coincidence, since the USA banned China from participating in that project, which is run by the US, the European Space Agency, Canada, Russia and Japan.

"We would like to be able to get plants to grow in what is available with a minimum input", Doty said.

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China is hoping the new station, which will consist of three main modules, will become operational in 2022 after launching the first module in 2019. That ban dates to 2011, when Congress ordered NASA to cut all ties with China.

Working through the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, the Chinese Manned Space Agency (CMSP) has invited applications from UN member states to conduct experiments on China's space station.

China appears to want to run its space station a little differently, according to statements made about their plans. Especially the United Nations and China are counting on the participation of developing countries.

According to Chinese analysts, by 2024, Chinese space station will be the only one in operation as Mir is set to complete its life span by that time. No matter what happens with NASA's budget, the International Space Station will likely need to be retired in 2028 anyway.

Meanwhile, numerous partners behind the ISS are already being courted to invest in China's new space station, according to hotel billionaire Robert Bigelow, who has his own plan to build an inflatable space station more than twice as big as the ISS.

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