NASA Cooperation with China

October 21, 2013
China Business Intelligence

Unpublished Letter to the Economist - Sir –  America’s space agency NASA and the US Congress should be forgiven if they are leery of too much space “cooperation” with Chinese scientists (“Chinese? You’re not welcome, October 12th).  One illustrative case emerged in January 2007 following China’s first military anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons test which destroyed an orbiting Chinese satellite and left a dangerous debris cloud still in orbit today.  A U.S. congressional commission reported that a Chinese space scientist who had studied asteroid “rendezvous and transfer orbit” dynamics at the University of Michigan in 2006 was a researcher at the military’s academy of equipment and command technology and had written extensively on “kinetic kill vehicle” (KKV) “velocity increment error” for China’s ASAT weapons development.


But fear not.  The Chinese astrophysicists banned from NASA’s exoplanet conference will no doubt be able to watch the sessions streamed on the web despite ostensible restrictions on Chinese access to NASA’s computer networks.  The NASA inspector general Paul K. Martin told a congressional oversight committee on February 29, 2012, that an investigation of cyber attack on NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory computers “involving Chinese-based Internet protocol (IP) addresses has confirmed that the intruders gained full access to JPL systems and sensitive user accounts . . . in other words, the attackers had full functional control over these networks.”  Mr. Martin also said nearly 200 Chinese citizens working in positions that afford them significant access to the agency and its programs.








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