China Finds Eager Space Partners in Ukraine, Kazakhstan

While the White House and Congress are engaged in a tug-of-war over whether NASA should cooperate with China in space, two nations that inherited parts of the Soviet Union’s space program — Kazakhstan and Ukraine — have moved forward on engaging with the emerging superpower. They join other space powers — including Russia, Canada and Europe — that are already cooperating with China.

Kazcosmos Chairman Talgat Musabayev recently led a delegation to Beijing to meet with officials of the China National Space Administration. Kazcosmos PAO reports:

On the first day of the visit the delegation met with the China Industrial Corporation (CPC) “Great Wall”, and discussed issues of cooperation. Members of the Kazakh delegation, composed of heads and  specialists of Kazkosmos, met with the leadership of the Chinese Academy of  Engineering (KTARN) and visited the booster assembly plant.

During the talks the head of Kazcosmos Talgat Musabayev and head of the China National Space Administration (KNKA) Tsyufa Chen noted the need to prepare an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.

“This  framework agreement will form the basis of bilateral and mutually beneficial  cooperation between Kazakhstan and China in space,”  said T. Musabayev.

According to the head Kazkosmos, China’s space industry, which has reached today a large scale and considerable scientific and technological level, is of great interest for Kazakhstan in the light of its own space industry.

Last month, a Chinese delegation visited Kiev to review progress in implementing the 2011-15 space cooperation agreement that was signed last September. According to the State Space Agency of Ukraine:

The program included over 50 joint projects divided into 2 parts: primary and perspective projects. In particular, it was foreseen to develop joint space system for Earth observation, implementation of ionosphere satellite project for creation of the earthquake forecasting system, development and supply for Chinese partners of diverse rocketry equipment and instrumentation.