China building International Space Station, US should not cede space territory: NASA chief Jim Bridenstine to US lawmakers

WION Web Team
Washington Published: Sep 24, 2020, 11:21 AM(IST)

File photo of the International Space Station. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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Bridenstine's warning comes as China prepares to start its international space station named Tiangong by 2022. 

NASA chief Jim Bridenstine has said the United States should maintain its presence in Earth's orbit with the International Space Station(ISS) in order to thwart Chinese activity.

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"I'll tell you one thing that has me very concerned -- and that is that a day is coming when the International Space Station comes to the end of its useful life," Bridenstine told US lawmakers.

"In order to be able to have the United States of America have a presence in low Earth orbit, we have to be prepared for what comes next," Bridenstine added.

Bridenstine's warning comes as China prepares to start its international space station named Tiangong by 2022. 

"We want to see a public-private partnership where NASA can deal with commercial space station providers, so that we can keep a permanent uninterrupted human presence in low Earth orbit," he said.

"I don't think it's in the interest of the nation to build another International Space Station -- I do think it's in the interest of the nation to support commercial industry, where NASA is a customer."

"China is rapidly building what they call the 'Chinese International Space Station,' and they're rapidly marketing that space station to all of our international partners," said Bridenstine.

"It would be a tragedy, if, after all of his time, and all of this effort, we were to abandon low Earth orbit and cede that territory," the NASA chief added.

Bridenstine said that it was vital to "ultimately not cede that territory to another country that doesn't have our interests at heart."

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