Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
China NASA Space Politics

NASA Banned From Working With China 284

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the who-will-build-the-firewall dept.
astroengine writes "In the wake of the Chinese cyber-threat and claims of espionage, a clause included in the US spending bill approved by Congress to avert a government shutdown a few weeks ago has prohibited NASA from coordinating any joint scientific activity with China. The clause also extends to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NASA Banned From Working With China

Comments Filter:
  • ha ha ha (Score:2, Insightful)

    by roman_mir (125474)

    Yeah, if China was actually interested in hurting USA in one place, it would really hit hard, they'd just stop buying US bonds and also stop rolling over the ones they have already, and never mind NASA, US wouldn't even have money to run its military.

    • Re:ha ha ha (Score:4, Insightful)

      by antifoidulus (807088) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @07:59AM (#36092642) Homepage Journal
      And the Chinese economy would collapse as the $1.4 trillion of US debt that China currently holds would quickly become worthless. Sort of like ripping off the nose to spite the face.
      • Re:ha ha ha (Score:5, Insightful)

        by roman_mir (125474) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @08:11AM (#36092778) Homepage Journal

        And the Chinese economy would collapse as the $1.4 trillion of US debt that China currently holds would quickly become worthless. Sort of like ripping off the nose to spite the face.

        - what a huge misunderstanding of economics, that the education systems of the West have perpetrated upon their population. Very sad.

        Chinese economy is not about the cash, the money. Chinese economy is an actual real economy - producing economy.

        You see, when the Keynesian gods tell you that economy is about consumption, they are full of it, completely wrong. Consumption is a trivial consequence of production. If nothing is produced, nothing will be consumed. Production IS economy.

        When USA borrowed money in 19 century, it borrowed the money to build factories and infrastructure, and when it used the money to build, it started producing, and the products it built were then sold to pay off the debts. Today, when USA borrows money, it only uses the money to consume, and it consumes foreign made products.

        Irony is of-course that it borrows money from China and buys the Chinese made products, and the population of USA is convinced by their useless 'economists', who are really charlatans, that the US consumer is the actual engine behind this entire economic activity.

        No. What China needs to do is to let their currency appreciate, so that it becomes cheaper for Chinese to both: buy raw materials (as they are hit hard with price inflation, which in the case of producers follows immediately after the self inflicted money inflation) and it becomes cheaper for the Chinese to buy foreign products and their own manufactured products as well, and China has plenty of potential for consumption, they do have over a billion people after all.

        What is funny, is how Geithner calls China to let their currency appreciate, and it looks like he is just trying to play reverse psychology game (if he understands anything about economics at all), because either US dollar can be strong or Chinese currency can be strong, but they both cannot be strong at the same time.

        If China lets the currency appreciate, it will become nearly impossible for the US consumers to buy Chinese products. That's good for USA in the long run, because USA has to be hit with very high interest rates on their money, Americans need to start saving and creating capital that can be applied for building things again, so that it starts producing again. But in the short term it's going to be disastrous for USA, not for China.

        Sure, China will lose that debt. But it's going to lose that debt ANYWAY!

        Do you think USA can pay that debt back? EVER? :)

        USA doesn't produce anything of any value except for the raw materials, that Chinese would want to buy. USA can NEVER pay the debts back. These particular debts need to be restructured, but instead US Fed will keep printing, and all that useless paper, that ends up in Chinese banks, and causes the Chinese to print their currency as well only is hurting China right now.

        USA has it great as long as other countries keep buying its debt and keep printing their own currencies into oblivion and keep price inflation inside their own economies and don't export it back to US.

        However this will stop. Sure, many manufacturers in China and other exporting nations will cry murder, but they will have to deal with this, as their own currencies appreciate, they will start selling in the country rather than exporting so much. There will be some pain for China as well, but they have the production - which is what matters.

        Do not be mistaken - US debts will never be repaid in anything that's valuable. US can print the dollar and 'repay' in worthless paper, but that's just as much of a default as a real bankruptcy would be.

        • by mprindle (198799)

          Sigh... There are to many statements in this that are way to true. I miss the day when the US was a production powerhouse. If you wanted something then you got it at your local store and it was stamped Made in America. Of all the times to not have any mod points....

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by TheEyes (1686556)

            Sigh... There are to many statements in this that are way to true. I miss the day when the US was a production powerhouse. If you wanted something then you got it at your local store and it was stamped Made in America. Of all the times to not have any mod points....

            America still produces more, both in raw materials and finished goods, than China (though this will likely be reversed in the next two years or so). What we don't produce here are the cheap consumer-level goods that places like China and Vietnam are currently specializing in, because we don't pay our workers $5 a day here.

            As China continues to modernize and the US continues to decline this dynamic will shift; their one-child policy will greatly increase labor costs in the coming decades, and the US's focus

          • by moortak (1273582)
            In what way is the US not a production powerhouse? It is the single largest manufacturing country on the planet and in the top five or ten for many raw resources. If that doesn't qualify as a production powerhouse no one does.
        • by MightyYar (622222)

          Sure, China will lose that debt. But it's going to lose that debt ANYWAY!

          That's not the point. All those "cheap" products that China produces aren't actually so cheap. Without buying huge numbers of debt with imported US dollars, the dollar would fall in value.

          What do you think the Chinese would do with all of that "production" if they couldn't sell it overseas?

          The US and China are linked economically. There's no shame in that. China placates their population with jobs and develops their country and the US is happy to get physical goods in exchange for otherwise worthless paper.

          • by roman_mir (125474)

            What do you think the Chinese would do with all of that "production" if they couldn't sell it overseas?

            - oh, oh, can I, can I?

            They will consume the stuff they produce themselves, because they have over a fifth of the planet's human population.

            • by MightyYar (622222)

              They will consume the stuff they produce themselves, because they have over a fifth of the planet's human population.

              Maybe they will someday be able to consume the stuff the produce, but today that is not realistic. They need the US and Europe as markets for their goods right now. If the US were to tank economically, so would Europe. With the US and Europe down, the Chinese would find themselves in possession of the worlds largest collection of idle factories.

              So let's stop with all of the nationalistic bravado and just admit that any economic war between the US and China would bring everyone pain and misery.

              IMHO, the curr

        • Re:ha ha ha (Score:4, Insightful)

          by TheCRAIGGERS (909877) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @08:51AM (#36093190)

          You see, when the Keynesian gods tell you that economy is about consumption, they are full of it, completely wrong. Consumption is a trivial consequence of production. If nothing is produced, nothing will be consumed. Production IS economy.

          I'd like to see how well an economy works when nobody buys anything it's producing.

          Currently, China holds power because of the gap between [how cheap they can make a product], and [how much we rich folk will pay for said product]. If we weren't around to buy their stuff, or if we didn't spend an order of magnitude more to buy it than they paid to have it made, their economy as we know it wouldn't exist either.

          • by roman_mir (125474)

            I'd like to see how well an economy works when nobody buys anything it's producing.

            - yeah, because people are spirits and they are not physical beings who actually need real physical things to survive.

            • Contrary to many people's belief otherwise, I do not need a new smartphone to survive.

              • by roman_mir (125474)

                Standard of living, standard of living.

                US will survive this, I never said it wont, but the standard of living will be diminished severely, as Chinese consume more and more of what they produce, their currency strengthens and the rest of the world is left without all those cheap products (until they are forced into saving and rebuilding their manufacturing themselves.)

                • Or, as china becomes more modern and wages increase it will become more economically viable to start stabilizing and industrializing other countries that would be 'happy' to get 'low-paid' manufacturing jobs and the world-wide standard of living will continue to increase.
            • I don't need anything from china to survive. My food, water, shelter, and basic medical aid is all right here.

          • by Reziac (43301) *

            When you're producing, you're also selling, which means you have money to buy and consume with.

            When you're only consuming, you lack income and you eventually run out of credit, and then you can't even pay off your debt because you're not producing anything to sell.

            That's the current positions of China and the U.S., in their respective nutshells. (It used to be the U.S. and Europe in those same nutshells.)

            And as I've said before, when that debt comes due, my guess is that D.C. will roll over and offer China

          • by Gilmoure (18428)

            But, but, roman-mir said that consumption is not required; just production. I mean, China's building all those empty towns and malls and stuff and there's no consumers and they're doing well so Roman-mir must be right and Paul Krugman and other economists are all stupid.

        • Re:ha ha ha (Score:4, Interesting)

          by vlm (69642) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @08:56AM (#36093236)

          USA doesn't produce anything of any value except for the raw materials, that Chinese would want to buy.

          From a consumer point of view, yes, absolutely. Aside from plastic trash from walmart, we vary from complete utter domination to merely being major players in aerospace, heavy construction, and especially weapons. There are still plenty of plants that OSHA and EPA and NAFTA have not managed to shut down yet, although our govt is trying their hardest to destroy our middle class.

          One Very important point you missed, is the US is the "saudi arabia" of food... we stop exporting and hundreds of millions will starve, probably mostly in Africa rather than China, but still... practically every nation either directly eats our food, or benefits secondarily from other folks eating our food instead of us. Its a simplification, but block the Mississippi river, or do the same thing by screwing up the economy so we can't export, and about 2 billion of the world's poorest will pretty much starve to death as a result... How that benefits China is not entirely clear, it might even be mostly neutral.

          • by roman_mir (125474)

            utter domination to merely being major players in aerospace, heavy construction, and especially weapons.

            - I grant you weapons. But aerospace and heavy construction?

            Boeing is heavily subsidized and helped via political power by US government, it's not standing firmly on the ground with both feet, and heavy construction is done around the world. Maybe you didn't notice, but China actually builds rail roads, skyscrapers, bridges, roads, tunnels... As to weapons - yes. As long as USA has Chinese footing the bill that is.

            • Boeing is heavily subsidized and helped via political power by US government, it's not standing firmly on the ground with both feet

              You're right, they aren't standing on the ground at all. $2.6 billion from NASA for research that the WTO is complaining about, and Boeing is flying high with in order backlog of $329 billion [reuters.com]. Seems like chump change compared to the 20 billion [wsj.com] in below-market-interest loans you EU folks gave to Airbus ;)

              Jibes aside, are you really going to go with a "but the government helps them!" argument against a US company when comparing our industry to China's? I'm trying to come up with an analogy that would be hyp

          • by roman_mir (125474)

            One Very important point you missed, is the US is the "saudi arabia" of food.

            - only because it's subsidized... guess with whose money at this point?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You realize that China relies on artificial currency manipulation - which it achieves by buying up tons and tons of US dollars, right? How well do you think China's production economy would fare when suddenly its goods are as expensive in Europe and America as European and American goods?

          Without the US dollar, China's economy implodes. That's why they're panicking about QE2; they're terrified the US dollar will weaken.

          PS: Almost all of our debt is from the economic recession and the wars. These are all temp

        • You see, when the Keynesian gods tell you that economy is about consumption, they are full of it, completely wrong. Consumption is a trivial consequence of production. If nothing is produced, nothing will be consumed. Production IS economy.

          China accounts for 19.8% of world manufacturing. The US is at 19.4%. We still produce a shit ton of stuff.

          Irony is of-course that it borrows money from China and buys the Chinese made products, and the population of USA is convinced by their useless 'economists', who are really charlatans, that the US consumer is the actual engine behind this entire economic activity.

          I certainly have no love for the consumer lifestyle of endless debt that seems to pervade American culture, but production without consumption is a waste of time. If you produce 10 times more frying pans than people could possibly ever or buy, you're not contributing extra to the economy.

          No. What China needs to do is to let their currency appreciate, so that it becomes cheaper for Chinese to both: buy raw materials (as they are hit hard with price inflation, which in the case of producers follows immediately after the self inflicted money inflation) and it becomes cheaper for the Chinese to buy foreign products and their own manufactured products as well, and China has plenty of potential for consumption, they do have over a billion people after all.

          I agree that China needs to let their currency appreciate, but the Chinese culture doesn't have the appetite for cons

          • by roman_mir (125474)

            China accounts for 19.8% of world manufacturing. The US is at 19.4%. We still produce a shit ton of stuff.

            - US 'manufacturing' is a fancy way for assembly lines of parts, made elsewhere.

            If you produce 10 times more frying pans than people could possibly ever or buy, you're not contributing extra to the economy.

            - and that's the manufacturer's problem, who is forcing him to produce 10 times more frying pans than can be sold? Clearly that manufacturer is in the wrong business and will go out of business. Production without use - that's government job. Real production obviously has consumers in mind.

            However consumption without production is 0% likely.

            but the Chinese culture doesn't have the appetite for consumption that exists in the West (and the US especially). Not to mention, a lot of those billion people can't afford a lot of the things China produces.

            - oh boy, what are you saying, that Chinese do not like to buy stuff.

            Are we talking [time.com]

        • by Gilmoure (18428)

          You do realize that the U.S. is the largest producer in the world [wisegeek.com], even ahead of China?

          But yeah, are totally spot on with consumption being a red herring. The more production there is, the more sales there are, regardless if any consumers are actually purchasing anything. Anything that's not actually consumed can be written down and then rolled into a psudo-security and sold a profit. Turns out, you don't actually have to produce anything in order to profit; just have to know how to spin the deal.

      • by nedlohs (1335013)

        Except that debt has nothing to do with their economy. Having it devalued to $0 in the next five minutes would do exactly nothing to the Chinese economy.

        There is no factory that would suddenly shut down because an asset owned by the Chinese government dropped in value. Just as if it suddenly trippled in value in the 5 minutes it would be exactly nothing to the Chinese economy.

        Of course the follow on effects of the US not being able to fund their government defecit and either having to print money the more o

        • Of course the follow on effects of the US not being able to fund their government defecit and either having to print money the more old fashioned way or dramatically raise taxes would destroy the US economy. That in turn would be a significant issue for Chinese exporters - but they do export to countries that are not America and the American economic destruction would see world demand (and hence prices) on their imports drop significantly, so while triggering a large recession would not be a complete collapse.

          All of the models I've seen paint an extremely dire picture if the US folds in on itself. It would be a ripple effect- you can't just say "oh, it would only effect China a little bit because they can sell their product elsewhere". Those other places would be hit hard too. The small shops that are the majority would die first, which would create huge layoffs, which would in turn impact the large shops.

          You can't look at something as huge and interlinked as the world economy one small slice at a time- you n

        • by vlm (69642)

          US not being able to fund their government defecit and either having to print money the more old fashioned way

          What exactly do you think the recent "quantitative easing" programs have been, if not that?

      • by Gilmoure (18428)

        If you have a loan with a bank for $100K, the bank owns you.

        If you have a loan with a bank for $10M, you own the bank.

    • by whipnet (1025686)
      ha ha ha is right. China is not paying for our military. The U.S.'s economy is still MUCH larger than China. The U.S. still manufacturers more than China and unlike China, manufacturing is a very small part of the U.S. economy. As far as the bonds, the U.S. could make those almost worthless in seconds crushing China. A few protectionist laws and they're done too. China is rising, but they are still a leach economy to the U.S. To indicate they own us is simply without merit. * *
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by roman_mir (125474)

        ha ha ha is right. China is not paying for our military.

        - no? 40% of US gov't spending comes out of foreign debt.

        The U.S.'s economy is still MUCH larger than China.

        - really? Is that what the 50 billion/month trade deficit with China telling you? That, and all the money Fed prints monthly to buy 30% of all new debt that the US Treasury is issuing?

        The U.S. still manufacturers more than China and unlike China, manufacturing is a very small part of the U.S. economy.

        - again, trade deficit is 50 billion. US economy is not manufacturing anything, it's assembling parts made in other places. US even has trade deficit with CANADA, forget China.

        As far as the bonds, the U.S. could make those almost worthless in seconds crushing China.

        - what are you talking about, dog? US bonds ARE worthless today. Nobody can sell them with

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          >>>US even has trade deficit with CANADA, forget China.

          Everyone in the US would be a lot better off if they were more like me (anti-consumer, anti-spending). Rampant borrowing and spending is destroying america. In fact I think it already has (hence the housing depression of 2007-09).

      • by silanea (1241518)

        As far as the bonds, the U.S. could make those almost worthless in seconds crushing China.

        Something tells me China is the one player in this game that stands to win no matter how it plays out. They could take those bonds and burn them in a bonfire right now and still be better off than the USA.

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Banning US banks and institutions from deepening the debt of US toward China would actually be a good idea IMHO.
    • by jav1231 (539129)
      Start taxing imports from China at the rates we're taxed back. We could pay them back in no time, I imagine. China sucks, period. That we still do any business with them at all is in itself an atrocity.

      Tienanmen Square meant nothing.
  • by dbIII (701233) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @07:56AM (#36092618)
    This actually hurts NASA more than China, and as NASA gets hurt and sheds jobs where do you think the best are going to go if they want to get paid? I really do not understand why some in politics are trying to replay the end of the cold war and get the USA to play the part of the crumbling USSR.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CaptainLard (1902452)
      The best will go to SpaceX or Boeing. Are you suggesting that Joe Engineer who has worked 20 years at JPL is going to pack up his family and leave the sun beaches and smog of Southern California for the smog and human rights oppression of Beijing?
      • by sznupi (719324)
        "Human rights oppression" aren't really much of a concern for such workers; same as they don't have to concern themselves much with the fate of, say, underclass prison workers at home.
        • "Human rights oppression" aren't really much of a concern for such workers

          As long as you don't try to post to the web anything containing the word "Jasmine." Or try to go to a park which is the site of an attempted protest. Or...

        • So even if we entertain the idea that guys from JPL will not suffer any human rights oppression in China, do you still think they'll go there vs moving to SpaceX or Boeing, or someplace else in the US? I think they'll be quite happy in the US but not at NASA.
          • Just pointing out how the mentioned "problem" of Beijing is much less of an issue (maybe even particularly with people working on rockets; possibly proportionality unlikely to, say, protest the whole fabled military-industrial complex and its actions in the first place?)

            Then if the money's good...
    • Because there is re-election potential in prolonging the Cold War paradigm?

      My first thought was the same as yours; This hurts NASA.

      However, I'm not sure this is really a hindrance to NASA. If we were to create a partnership with China, what would they bring to that partnership, that NASA doesn't already have? I'm having a hard time coming up with something other than "Money".

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      >>>really do not understand why some in politics are trying to replay the end of the cold war and get the USA to play the part of the crumbling USSR.

      Because they want the US to be replaced by the EU or China as the new #1 player. They want to "spread the wealth" around the world, rather than have it all concentrated in North America. It makes logical sense to weaken the US, if that's your goal.

      Vice-versa, I think the politicians are targeting the wrong product. Space is trivial. If they really

    • by jank1887 (815982)

      forget about it hurting NASA, what does "also extends to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy" mean for everything else under the executive branch? or is it just one particular executive branch office?

      a bit of googling:
      from Forbes.com [forbes.com]:
      "Although the ban will expire at the end of the current fiscal year in October, Wolf will seek to make the prohibition on any scientific collaboration between U.S. research agencies and China permanent.... the Obama Administration has taken the position that

    • This actually hurts NASA more than China, and as NASA gets hurt and sheds jobs where do you think the best are going to go if they want to get paid? I really do not understand why some in politics are trying to replay the end of the cold war and get the USA to play the part of the crumbling USSR.

      Yes, I don't understand how ideology has trumped reality in the United States. I feel politics in this country has steadily become more partisan and ideological because we do not have an external "enemy" any more and we have turned on ourselves instead. We are so self-involved now that we don't see the rest of the world passing us by.

  • by Haedrian (1676506) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @08:00AM (#36092656)

    The US already made china the next superpower. It doesn't need to steal US research, it can do everything on its own in probably a more efficient manner.

    This way the US cripples its research, and we'll cut off another reason for the US to exist for this economy.

    • [China] doesn't need to steal US research....

      Then, why does it? For shits and giggles?

    • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @08:25AM (#36092940)
      I would say that while the US certainly helped make China the next superpower, and unwittingly helped it a lot, we need to give China credit for having leaders able to recognize an opportunity when they saw it and being able to take advantage of it. I'm not in any way suggesting that China is a perfect society though. I know people who live in China who certainly feel that things could be a lot better there in the lives of ordinary people and who feel that the government cares too much about making money.

      US research could certainly be better but China for the most part is in the position of "steal and copy" rather than producing original research. I have to grudgingly admit that costs are probably a lot lower if you just let the US develop it and pay someone to spy and send you the information so you can create a knockoff later.
      • by green1 (322787) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @09:20AM (#36093512)

        How long can the US count on this though? The education system in China isn't THAT horrible, they are bound to produce some brilliant minds, and China has proven time and time again that they can apply themselves to a problem when faced with it. If anything, limiting collaboration with China may be what causes China to start a major shift towards research and innovation. If they have the ability to come up with the ideas, and we already know they can implement them, what does that leave for the US?

        The US has for the past few years been betting everything on "Intellectual Property" because in a lot of ways it's the only export the US has left, but if China decides it no longer needs US "IP" then what does the US have left? And if the only answer is "consumers" then the US is in a worse position than most people want to believe.

    • You can say they don't 'need' to steal the research, but the evidence of Chinese born espionage in the US is blatant. And if you follow corporate and government level espionage in the news you would know that you would bet China if betting your life on who did it.

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/spy/spies/ [pbs.org]

      http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/19/national/main5708534.shtml [cbsnews.com]

      http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/news/3319656 [popularmechanics.com]

      http://www.zdnet.com/blog/foremski/chinese-spies-use-cyber- [zdnet.com]

  • And so (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @08:00AM (#36092660)
    China says: and nothing of value was lost. "See Yu onna moon, sucka!"
  • NASA's "science" has always been heavily politicized. The same sort of thing went on with the Russians back during the Cold War. They even used to coordinate their launches with anniversaries of Soviet space accomplishments just to try to show up the Russkies (they even held the first space shuttle launch back just so they could have it coincide with the 20th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first man in space flight). NASA has ALWAYS been more about politics than science. And now China are the new "bad guys."

    • I work in a town with plenty of NASA engineers. The difficult part of working for or contracting to NASA is not solving some of the toughest engineering challenges in the world; it is putting your passion into a project for 4 to 8 years only to have it all your work scrapped after an election swings an office from one party to the other.
  • Now we'll never have to worry about the Chinese stealing all our secrets that cost ten dollars and a ball of pocket lint to make.
  • I don't remember this level of exclusion even in the bad old days of the USSR. I would also remind

    I wonder, though, what this will actually stop ? For example, the Chinese are apparently expressing some interest in participating with the ISS (the space station). Is that a " bilateral policy, program, order, or contract" ? No, it isn't. It is multinational and multilateral. Any Mars mission (the Chinese have an orbiter, Yinghuo-1, on Phobos-Grunt), likewise. And, who decides whether a visitor is "official" ?

    • by Hartree (191324)

      "I don't remember this level of exclusion even in the bad old days of the USSR."

      I do. Maybe not to the letter, but in the general relationship, certainly. The US relationship with China is downright cuddly compared to that.

      The US and USSR both did some of the silliest episodes of, at best, tit for tat, and at worst raw spite throughout the cold war.

      ASTP changed some of that in the space area when Nixon was using it as part of his general detente with the USSR.

      This is pretty much symbolism in its effect on C

      • by mbone (558574)

        Yes, as to the lack of cuddliness. However, we both participated in IGY, we shared data through COSPAR, we went to each other's meetings, we even shared lunar samples (and ranged the Lunakhod LLR retroreflectors). Later, when things warmed a little, there was also the US tracking of the VEGA mission and the VEGA balloon.

        So, while there was lots of tit-for-tat, some very stupid (my favorite was denying Kruschev a visit to Disneyland, ostensibly for security reasons!), I am not aware of any blanket ban on sci

  • was it during the Mercury or already the Apollo program?
    • by Alex Belits (437) *

      There was a joint Soyuz-Apollo project. Mostly symbolic, but it had some practical value -- it standardized docking equipment and procedures, made it possible at least in theory, for USSR and US spaceships to be used to rescuing crew from each other in case of emergency... Too bad, US ended Apollo soon after that, and placed all its effort into that fat Concorde-shaped thing.

      • There was a joint Soyuz-Apollo project. Mostly symbolic, but it had some practical value -- it standardized docking equipment and procedures, made it possible at least in theory, for USSR and US spaceships to be used to rescuing crew from each other in case of emergency... Too bad, US ended Apollo soon after that, and placed all its effort into that fat Concorde-shaped thing.

        I probably need to read some more history books, but as I recall this mission was totally political/symbolic. There was no standarization of anything. A specially made dongle was made to connect the spacecrafts (the APAS or the so-called Androgynous Peripheral Attach System). The apollo-soyus mission was flow w/o the lunar module and the APAS was stored in it's place. This also meant that like the lunar module, the dongle/dock wasn't connected at launch, but needed to be extracted from the base of the last

  • Openstack is slowly becoming THE cloud project for IaaS. Now, NASA is clearly involved in the project, and has written some part of the code, and obviously, will continue. Does this mean that if a company in China decides to contribute, NASA will have to stop any work on Openstack? Or does this concern only space, and open source projects are not included in the ban?
    • by DrWho520 (655973)
      Hey everybody! There is a novel, technical question over here! Could we stop the political rants for a second and ponder this one?
  • It doesn't matter. If necessary, NASA can just as easily be exempted. After all, according to legislation, NASA was prohibited from cancelling contracts related to the Constellation program, even though the Constellation program was cancelled. This same spending bill released them from that obligation.

    There are two things that are really worrisome to me. First is the power that individual senators have over NASA. Senator Hatch dictated that NASA had to use solid rockets, much to the delight of the so
    • There are two things that are really worrisome to me. First is the power that individual senators have over NASA. ...

      The second thing that worries me is this whole concept of riders. ...

      Exactly. This is the sort of sausage politics that gets everyone nowhere. Even though the committees do have to vote to get these idiot concepts on the bill and the bill has to be cleared by both houses (and often gets further amended) the practice of putting in bits that have nothing to do with the original bill really should just be banned. Unfortunately, everybody does it so no one is particularly interested in stopping the practice.

  • by koan (80826)

    I'm pretty sure the Chinese have whatever secrets they want already, at least those that are stored and accessible via the Internet.

  • And the new space race officially begins.

  • The Chinese commies are good at being commies.

    The USA's commie bureaucracies, such as NASA, don't actually have to work in order for society to function, so they can just run pursuing uneconomic launch systems like the Shuttle for decades, generally leaching off the taxpayer, putting private launch service companies out of business while claiming to "help" them, etc.

    Marx actually had some insights into capitalism's weakness and it may very well be that China has been exploiting those weaknesses quite ef

  • by jav1231 (539129)
    This doesn't bother me at all. We should expand that to the rest of the government and the private sector. I'm a capitalist but I draw the line at dealing with nations whose systems of government are rife with human rights atrocities. And yes, I'd include many middle-eastern nations as well despite their oil.

    We long lost the ball on the notion that exporting capitalism would induce democracy. The Chinese have done one thing too well, managing to hold capitalism in a box and make it produce nice things for
  • LoL!!!

    Yeah, the Chinese are just so missing out. They are reconstructing a space program around a very generous budget, and the same sorts of goals and ambitions they are using with the building projects in their own country, many of them of a size and scale never before done by mankind.

    Yeah, I bet they are just wailing in the streets over there.

    By the time the Chinese get done with us, they will own half the moon and our private industry the USA is working on will still be sending up tinker toys.

    The only

The only problem with being a man of leisure is that you can never stop and take a rest.

Working...