Thu, Nov 25, 2004
Talks To Be "Informal"
Fresh from the success of his
country's first manned orbital mission, the head of China's space
agency will be in Washington next week for "informal" talks with
his counterpart at NASA.
The meeting is the first time Laiyan Sun and Sean O'Keefe
(right) have gotten together, but O'Keefe seemed to play down
the importance of the meeting.
"It's something we have talked about for many months," O'Keefe
said during a news conference earlier this week. "It is an
opportunity to exchange views -- an opportunity to exchange
thoughts... it's not a remarkable or unusual event."
China's first "taikonaut" orbited the Earth for 14 hours after
its launch on October 15th, 2003.
It's not unusual to see Chinese delegations at the Johnson or
Kennedy Space Centers. And President Bush did say he wanted to
boost international cooperation as part of his new vision for space
Will the Chinese become NASA partners on future projects?
O'Keefe said it's too early to tell. Beijing's record on human
rights has been a stumbling block.
O'Keefe will continue his role as space ambassador later in the
month, when he takes Russian Space Agency chief Anatoly Perminov on
a tour of the facilities at KSC.
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