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Europe and China discussing future space cooperation

The new colonial movement: The heads of the space agencies of both Europe and China held a virtual face-to-face discussion on April 1st, discussing their space operations as well as the possibility of future cooperation.

Zhang Kejian, administrator of the CNSA, and new ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher, who entered the post March 1, discussed a range of topics according to a short CNSA press release (Chinese). The parties outlined upcoming activities, with China recently approving a 14th Five-year plan for 2021-2025, and discussed lunar and deep space exploration, Earth observation, and cooperation in ground station.

Josef Aschbacher tweeted after the meeting that he had congratulated Zhang on the Chang’e-5 lunar sample return mission, which in December 2020 delivered to Earth 1.73 kilograms of lunar samples from Oceanus Procellarum on the moon’s near side.

…Karl Bergquist, ESA’s international relations administrator, told SpaceNews that ESA and CNSA went over ongoing activities including telemetry, tracking, and control support activities for the Chinese exploration program.

Apparently Zhang raised the issue of Europe contributing to China’s proposed lunar base. Aschbacher made no commitments, though he later stated that while there is “no ESA stance on this topic”, he anticipates future discussions on the topic.

Some of this is similar to the recent discussions between NASA and China, focused on exchanging telemetry of various orbiters to avoid the possibility of collisions or interference with their operation. I would not be surprised however if Europe expands this conversation and joins China in its space plans. The U.S. is shifting from a government-run space program — which both China and Europe favor — to a commercial model mostly run by private enterprise. Under that model there will be less opportunity for European participation in American space projects.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

9 comments

  • Max

    This is worrisome. Nothing speaks louder about world affairs when countries with strong affiliations and loyalty to the United States are seeking favors and relations to another. What do they see that we do not? An agreement with Russia and now the EU?
    China militarizes every venture they participate in. The worlds future is in evolution and is about to have a growth spurt starting with Taiwan and the Philippines. Alliances made now will determine actions later.

  • Lee Stevenson

    @Max…. I guess you are too young to remember the US and Soviet Russia agreement regarding space activity, which was one of the very few binding factors between 2 very different ideologys … The same can be true today, indeed, it will advance and help the use and exploration of space. Just something as simple as standardized docking ports could save lives, no matter what the politics or nationality. A dog bite reaction to any interaction with a state, nation or people whose politics you disagree with is foolish. Progress will be made, and some kind of “us or them” ideal in space is meaningless. The US flag is indeed mighty, but to not cooperate with your neighbors in space is just foolish. Bring on some sort of standard so mankind can rise (very literally!) Above boarders in space!

  • Lee Stevenson

    And here I go…. Telling the truth… And be damnd the consequences…. You ask “What do you see that we do not?” … As a European, we see a nation fading in power. You are far away, you have made WAY too many mistakes in trying to alter the politics of the middle East… Indeed ( and with the help of the UK) you have made the situation so much worse. And with your crazy leadership over the last couple of decades ( you swapped an orange game show host for a geriatric ) who on earth will now have trust in the USA? Your record of success has been terrible for the last 2 decades. We genuinely shake our heads at your gun laws… Nowhere else on earth allows rednecks to carry big guns around for fun, no where else on earth has the mass shootings the US does, and no where else on earth has the suicide rate due to killing themselves with firearms ( don’t call me out on the last one…. The gun related suicide rate on the US is off the charts!)…. This is what we see that you don’t see.

  • Lee Stevenson

    I will now politely get my coat, and hard hat and depart….. It’s midnight here, and I got work in the morning… Along with my 15 year old son who is working his spring break with me.. We both two might not be capitalists, but believe in a fare days pay for a fare days work…

  • Cotour

    Lee S: I will have to agree with you here:

    “WAY too many mistakes in trying to alter the politics of the middle East…” “Your record of success has been terrible for the last 2 decades.”

    The gun issue however is of no consequence to the conversation. And what is being done with that issue is fraudulent and a lie, no matter what the statistics may say. If and when the guns are taken from the massively and overwhelmingly law abiding citizens of America then America and its Constitution will be over.

    At that point then you should begin to really be getting concerned for your situation.

    And I have never been concerned about appearing embarrassing to the rest of the world.

  • Xopher

    @Lee Stevenson
    “Nowhere else on earth allows rednecks to carry big guns around for fun, ”

    The gun crime rate for White America is the same as Europe’s White indigenous population.
    US gun violence is almost exclusively a Black and Mestizo problem.
    And yet you attack “Rednecks” instead of attacking the real culprits, Blacks and Mestizos.

    You need to apologize to White Americans right now, Lee.

  • Edward_2

    Lee Stevenson, Americans don’t care about Europe. They do care a bit about Britain due to the common language – but the rest of Europe is a sad Disneyland. Europe is committing suicide, sinking to Third-World irrelevance.

    Jealous Europeans hope that the US sinks to the level of Europe, but it won’t happen because the US hasn’t been totally poisoned by Socialism as Europe has.

  • I’m quite sure this is oversimplification, but the Chinese issues with “face” are very similar to the (Arab) Islamic issues with “as Allah wills”. The latter is hell on maintenance routines and the former is hell on facing up to mistakes in order to fix them.

    The (Churchill?) expression, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else” is a somewhat cynical expression of what makes us successful. I say cynical, because it is much the same as saying “I found it in the last place I looked.” Because, of course, once you find it, you stop looking. In the same way, once we get it right, we stop trying – so it’s not “everything else”, just lots and lots of things.

    BTW: I changed my name when I restarted my blog. I was the (rare) commenter “mrsizer” (“m” for “Mark”) and now I’m “markedup2”.

  • Edward

    Robert wrote: “The U.S. is shifting from a government-run space program — which both China and Europe favor — to a commercial model mostly run by private enterprise. Under that model there will be less opportunity for European participation in American space projects.

    Although they may not participate with U.S. commercial space companies, I would bet that Europe will hire U.S. commercial services. NASA still has a mandate in its charter to work with other countries.

    Lee Stevenson,
    You seem to think that we would disagree with you, but you hit the nail squarely.

    ( you swapped an orange game show host for a geriatric ) who on earth will now have trust in the USA?

    Even we Americans no longer trust our country. Good of you to notice that the American socialists stole our election, removing the guy who brought peace between Israel and three Mid-East countries and installing a socialist who is an incompetent, mentally deteriorating dunderhead. Sorry, I had meant to insult BiteMe* rather than insult dunderheads. The more socialist we become, the less trustworthy we become.

    As a European, we see a nation fading in power.

    The more socialist we become, the less we are able to assist the rest of the world. Just like Sweden and the rest of Europe.

    We genuinely shake our heads at your gun laws…

    We do too. Thank you for noticing that the fewer rednecks that carry guns the more gun violence there is. Most foreigners see America as homogenous, failing to see that the most gun violence comes from the areas that are most socialist and have the most gun laws and the most gun-free zones. I am glad, Lee, that you are not one of them. Of course, that is probably because you visited North Carolina and have seen the truth, firsthand. Yet our socialist leaders, in an attempt to disarm us to prevent us from protecting ourselves from criminals, mass murderers, and socialist usurpers, continue to reduce the number of rednecks who can carry guns in order to protect us. Then those same self-righteous socialists pretend to be bewildered as to why gun crimes increase. When the law abiding rednecks are prevented from carrying guns, only the criminals are armed. Thank goodness that there are still the police, because when seconds count, they are mere minutes away. Unfortunately, the socialists are actively defunding police departments all around the country, so the police may not be available to come to our rescue at all. This is life under socialism.

    The US flag is indeed mighty, but to not cooperate with your neighbors in space is just foolish.

    Ooh. I have to disagree with you on what you are implying, here. The U.S. does cooperate with its neighbors, and even countries overseas, such as European countries. This is why the International Space Station is international. It is why many of our space probes are international, too, such as the Hubble and James Webb telescopes. China, however, steals all the technology it can, which is why it is talking to Russia and Europe, so that it can steal as much of their space technology as possible. China, too, is untrustworthy. But then, they are very socialist, so that is no surprise.

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