China and the U.S. don’t collaborate in space —a decades-old divide that is shaping the future of both nations’ space programs.
Why it matters: U.S. semiconductor companies and those in other sectors are under pressure — from politicians and consumers — to become less reliant on China. The record of the nations’ parallel ambitions in space shows what the U.S. gains and loses when it cuts China off.
Catch up quick: China has a flourishing space program with big ambitions. The nation is expected to build a space station in orbit in the coming years and eventually plans to send people to the Moon.
- Those plans run in parallel to U.S. ambitions to send people back to the lunar surface as the International Space Station program comes to an end.
- Both nations also have strong military presences in orbit: China’s tests of its anti-satellite weapons worry many U.S. space watchers that the nation doesn’t adhere to widely accepted norms in orbit. The U.S. relies on spy satellites and other assets in space to fight wars.
- Unlike arrangements with other U.S. allies and adversaries that have so far held peace between powers in space, NASA and China are prevented from cooperating in space without congressional approval under the Wolf Amendment, first passed in 2011.
Read the full article at Axios.