Nelson also saw the threat of a relationship between China and Russia. For decades, the partnership between Russia and the United States has shaped space flight. In particular, China and Russia seem to be seeking cooperation in manned spaceflight.
Russia is discussing how to send its astronauts to China’s new space station. The main module of the space station was launched in April and currently houses the first batch of “Tyco astronauts.” The two also proposed a plan to lead an internationally cooperative lunar research station at an unidentified location. The goal is to be operational in the mid-2030s, although the partnership has made it clear that it will not attempt to manned the next mission . ten years.
Even without Russia’s intervention from China, the politically complex US-Russian space cooperation may require some attention during the Nelson administration. The modern partnership is fixed in orbit by the International Space Station, a project that the United States recruited Russia to join. The Soviet Union eventually collapsed, and the United States viewed the space station partnership as a strategy to prevent former Soviet scientists from bringing nuclear secrets to the enemy of the United States (since November 2000, the International Space Station has been occupied by astronauts from turn). .)
But today, relations between the United States and Russia can be strained. After the space shuttle was retired in 2011, NASA relied on the Russian Soyuz capsule to reach the space station for ten years, and the search for commercial launches strained the partnership. Since Nelson assumed leadership at NASA, Dmitry Rogozin, director of Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, has consistently opposed US sanctions on Russian companies and threatened to withdraw from the International Space Station program if sanctions continue.
Nelson told Space.com that he had 3 conversations with Rogozin, including a joint appearance by a team at the Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX) held in St. Petersburg, Russia on June 15, which included senior leaders from eight different spaces. Official agency. “This is a very cordial conversation,” Nelson said. “I hope the Russians will continue to be our partners. They are very important partners on the space station.”
Nelson said that he does not believe there are any key obstacles to be resolved in relations between the two countries, noting that Russian President Vladimir When Putin spoke to the American media recently, “His speech is very similar to what I just said.” .
Russia, like China, obviously does not appear on the list of signatories to the Artemis Agreement, which is Britten Sting initiated a set of principles aimed at managing exploration activities beyond low Earth orbit, solving problems such as the use of resources and the management of space debris. Since Biden and Nelson took office, three countries have signed agreements, bringing the total to a dozen.
It goes without saying that the longtime politician praised the role his new institution can play on the international stage. Nelson said: “While the United States projects its own power on a global scale, NASA is a great source of soft power, because in general, everyone loves NASA.”
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Everyone is paying attention to Artemis
In light of these international complexities, it is important for Nelson to continue advancing the moon, and the sooner the better.
Although countless other moon landing plans have fallen into frustration and ongoing concerns about the schedule, Nelson stated that his agency insists on President Donald Trump’s administration’s goal of returning humans to the moon by 2024, despite its recognition. of the schedule. postponed.
“2024 is the goal, but space is tough,” Nelson said. “From the cruel reality, the development history of all space programs is like this. When you are involved in cutting-edge technology, sometimes it takes more time.”
However, he said he believes the Artemis project will mark the space. flight The long-awaited return to the moon. (Apollo’s last mission to the moon, Apollo 17, left the lunar surface in December 1972). He said this confidence came not from the lure of the moon itself, but from Americans’ desire to visit Mars next time. “We will return to the moon, ready to go to Mars,” he said. “We will return to the moon to learn everything we do not know and prepare to bring humans to Mars.”Link Link Link Link Link Link Link Link Link Link Link Link
(The Artemis plan was originally proposed only as a lunar mission; later, NASA officials began to designate it as a heavy mission. “Return to the moon and land on Mars,” which may be in response to Trump’s comment of that the moon is not an exciting enough target.)
But Nelson is entering a narrow place, and it only takes three years to climb. Moon. Artemis’s schedule has been ambitious and the COVID19 pandemic has caused severe delays, especially in manufacturing.
Artemis is based on NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-duty launch vehicle, which Nelson himself supports in the Senate. When the Barack Obama administration advocated greater reliance on trade associations, Nelson and his colleagues in the Senate stipulated that NASA should still build heavy launch vehicles. More than 10 years later, worth 9 billion U.S. dollars, this car has not yet flown.
Appropriately, Nelson expects the first SLS flight later this year, the unmanned Artemis 1 orbiting the moon test mission. “SLS will be ready,” Nelson said. “We will fly SLS at the end of the year.”
NASA said that it still set the goal of Artemis 1 for November; however, an April report from NASA’s Office of the Inspector General determined that “the agency is facing A major challenge, we think this will lead to the very unlikely possibility of its current plan to launch Artemis 1 in 2021 and eventually send astronauts to the moon in 2024. ”
Whenever Artemis 1 finally takes off, we look forward to it. Saw Nelson at the scene. When asked if he would attend the press conference in person, he asked, “Is the Pope Catholic?”