New ESA director planning to include India and China in ISS

International Space Station might open the gates for Indian and Chinese scientists, says European Space Agency (ESA) chief. International Space Station (ISS)is supported by 15 nations that including USA, Russia and Germany.

ISS is largest habitable artificial satellite orbiting around Earth. Since, ISS rotates nearly 400 km above the Earth’s surface and due its size of five football fields it is visible from he Earth through naked eye. Scientists say that ISS appears like a fast moving star as it moves with an average speed of 7.66 km per second i.e it completes 16 revolution of Earth in a day. ISS serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which crew members of 15 nations conduct their experiment and test their spacecraft systems for mission to the Moon and Mars.

Johann-Dietrich Woerner who currently is the administrator of the German Aerospace Center will become the new Director General of the ESA from July 1. He will replace Jean-Jacques Dordain.

On seeing India’s astonishing efforts towards space exploration including Chandrayaan and especially Mangalyaan, Woerner said that he will try to include India and China among the nations supporting ISS. He further added that the space station has been funded till 2020 and an extension of four years is under consideration. Also, the extension would give enough time to the NASA to build up more technologies for more missions on Mars and it will open gates for commercial companies to gain investment.

Including China and India in the list of nations supporting ISS will give them more funding. However, a US law that was made in 2011 prevents NASA to share information with Chinese space program due to security issue, also other nations might object the inclusion of China. However, it seems Woerner is very keen to include India and he might sent an invitation soon after he gets appointed as the new director.

Moreover, NASA’s spends nearly $3 billion each year to operate the $100 billion International Space Station.

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  • I very much doubt the US will allow China to join ISS, India is a good choice though. It makes sense though. To include China. Russia-USA cooperation has been a great boon. ISS likely wouldn’t exist without that cooperation, and as Russia starts to decline it would make sense to work with what will probably become the second most capable space program in the next 20 years (Since, Russia is unlikely to remain where it is).

    Sure, there is lots of mistrust to overcome but that was the case with the Russians too. Also regardless of how Putin feels, the Russian space program likes working with NASA. The astronauts/people on the ground doing all the work.

    The US will have two choices. 1: Increase NASA’s funding so we can have the space program that we want. 2: Work with China, so we can still get the same result.

    The GOP want both at the same time, without wanting to increase funds. >.> Which is why they just cut commercial crew funding, to fully fund SLS/Orion. Even though SLS/Orion is a program that is going nowhere without increased funding in the future. Which seems rather unlikely unless the GOP become a minority party in 2016 and even then they may continue to have enough influence to stop us from moving forward.

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