China space was a prominent subject during the TMRO show on 11-17-18 asking the question: Should the United States cooperate with China? I think we have a better option … India … which is an open society when compared to China. China is a one party political nation, India is the exact opposite. China controls its population so much that it has a separate internet from the rest of the world, India does not. We should bring India into our space program as a full partner and let China hide behind it’s firewall.
I’m not going to touch ideological discussions with a ten-foot pole. That’s just going to end up in a fruitless shouting match, because let’s be honest: nobody changes ideological standpoints based on internet discussions. Nobody.
As for NASA-ISRO cooperation, though? I’m all for it. Thankfully, NASA and ISRO are way ahead of you. That’s not the only international collaboration India has going on, either.
Do note though that India does not have a fully operational human spaceflight program. They have had big plans for a long time, and occasional tech demonstrations, but it’s been slow-going. They don’t have a crewed spacecraft, and they don’t have crew. At best, if there are no delays whatsoever, a first test flight would take place in December 2021 - and we all know that there’s no such thing as no delays in human spaceflight.
So there is a lot less potential for cooperation for India than there would be for China. For example: you can’t easily invite India to participate in the ISS program. They don’t have anyone to send up there. Why would they contribute money? Sure, they could do it like Europe and Japan and Canada, but even that would require them to work hard for several more years before being able to train and certify an astronaut. Meanwhile, China has not only been both interested in, and capable of, joining the ISS program for a long while, but they’re actually building their own space station now, to which they are inviting other nations (including India and the United States). That’s just a wholly different caliber in terms of capability.
Obviously there’s other things to do in space than haul meat around, hence programs like the one I linked above. But let’s be honest: human spaceflight is the big one.
Working on manned spaceflight
R&D on new plane
Rumours of R&D space weapons?
I have had the good fortune of working close with many colleagues in India, and travelling there several times on business. I was always impressed by what I saw as their desire to participate and partner with other parts of the world. There are driven, intelligent, resourceful people in India ready to be embraced, trusted and empowered to deliver good outcomes.
The current (and emerging) India space program excites me, and I feel it is (and will be) part of the future of human spaceflight in general. On a side note, a consistent space program in India will also serve to improve their general level of infrastructure; from roads to schools. A win-win for all. I support any program to partner with India on space exploration.
If politics could be taken out of it (but lets face it politics in some form is in everything) it would be great if the world as a whole could work together for space exploration. While manned flight is a big deal robotic and logistical missions are also important so a partner would not necessarily need a manned program to contribute. A standardisation to technology would make things easier and possibly safer but again that get political … maybe we need a UN space agency bending metal and launching payloads? However in the world we currently live that is just not going to happen maybe we need a ‘first contact’ (yes trek pointer) or other event to make us realise we have more in common than separates us. Perhaps with other countries working with China will prompt a change in US policy over time. It’s such a complex issue but we should welcome what ever collaboration between who ever as it only helps to advance knowledge. In today’s information age i cant see countries staying behind ‘firewalls’ much longer certainly if technologies like starlink come into service. It would be better if the rest of the world was more welcoming to those countries as they make the transition. At the end of the day no political system is perfect infact you could say no system is perfect (the fact of no perpetual motion kinda proves that) there are always compromises to be made. Please do not take this as i support the human rights record of China I most certainly don’t i just feel it’s easier to effect change with the carrot than the stick; And space programs have helped to start bridging the gap in the past (Apollo Souyz).
India has shown its peaceful nature internationally, so it behoves us to let India participate in the iSS program.
China has nothing new to add to humans in space. As long as they are violating human rights of the own people and blocking them from participating freely over the internet, then I say they should not participate with civilized space faring nations. (Russia may very well lose its civilized status.)
India can easily overtake China in production of good for worldwide export. It has the educated population to make it so. India’s political system is multiparty whereas in China the only legal political party is the communist party. Democratic by limited to one party. Nice. So, I believe the United States should “encourage” its companies to move to India.
There is nothing political about what I have just stated. My comments above are simply an opinion.
All true Johnny. I would place money on Russia not being asked to stop participation should they devolve. Guess I’n just a bit of a hopeful in that I hope a carrot would work better than a Stick. I’m not saying we should all dive full in with China that wouldn’t have the desired effect. But limited participation / help may well encourage change elsewhere in their society just as commercial interests / relaxation has in China and elsewhere in the world. Not to mention of course after awhile the carrot could be used as a stick (keep doing this and carrot stuff is withdrawn is quite an effective threat). I totally agree that India has massive potential and far less problems but there are still child labour issues etc. All that said we need to be careful of pushing our values on other cultures … that is at the root of most wars dating back to things like the crusades which are still being used as the excuse for violence hundreds of years later. At the end of the day nothing will change until we talk and deal with other countries and we should be very careful on ‘forcing’ change there is a fine line between forcing and encouraging. Political systems wont and shouldn’t change over night I think there are enough examples to see just how unstable that leaves the country. China has shown just how interested it is in having a space program so offering help with that seems to be an sensible ‘In’ to encourage change.
A billion Indians coming online are going to want some educational YouTube videos about space. A million ISRO fanboys could easily subscribe. I would welcome them with them involved in i.s.s.
“Exports” to india, less of an issue.
Their next mars mission is similar to spirt/oppy. Their last mission had images like this-