Bolden Gets Congressional Support for China Outreach

Three Congressional Democrats have written to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in support of his upcoming trip to China to discuss cooperation on human spaceflight.

Reps. Rick Larsen (D-WA), Charles Boustany (D-LA), and Mark Kirk (D-IL) wrote:

“U.S.-China space cooperation is an important piece of the U.S.-China bilateral relationship and we hope your trip proves successful. Specifically, we as your support for the U.S. and China to establish a joint-rescue capability in space that would enable the U.S., China, and Russia to rescue each other’s crews…”

“As you know, members of the Congressional US-China Working Group (USWCG), which we co-chair, were the first foreign delegation to visit the Chinese manned-space launch center in Jiuquan in January 2006. In our view, space cooperation presents an opportunity to improve the diplomatic, political and military atmosphere between the United States and China.”

Reps. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and John Culberson (R-VA) has strongly opposed Bolden’s visit to China, demanding that the Administration give a briefing to Congress and obtain its authorization before making any outreach on human spaceflight.

Bolden has characterized the upcoming talks as preliminary in nature.