China's Manned Space Agency (CMSA) and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) announced that both organizations are encouraging members of the United Station to submit applications to conduct experiments on China's new space station. The China Space Station is set to be operational in 2022.
Meanwhile, NASA along with partner space programs are deciding the future of the International Space Station.
China Space Station Belongs To The World
China's ambassador to the UN says that the China Space Station (CSS) belongs to the world. He says that regardless of their level of development, countries will be able to participate in the CSS. This is UNOOSA's first project with a member's space station.
In the press release for the project, there are instructions for the members on how to apply. The press release also puts forth what the partnership hopes to accomplish with the project. UNOOSA and CMSA hope to promote international cooperation in space exploration and human spaceflight, awareness of the benefits of using human space technology, and capacity building activities that make use of human spaceflight technologies.
The partnership announced that in the first round of applications there will be three types of possible orbital experiments. Partners will be able to conduct experiments inside of the CSS by using experimental payloads developed by selected applicants. They will be able to conduct experiments inside the CSS by using facilities provided by China. They will also be able to conduct experiments outside of the CSS with payloads developed by selected applicants.
In the end, they hope that public and private organizations such as institutes, academies, universities, and private enterprises apply. Applications will be accepted until Aug. 31, 2018.
Ramifications On The ISS
The US Congress is still trying to figure out what will happen to the International Space Station in the future. It is a project that NASA and space agencies from Russia, Japan, the European Union, and Canada work on together. China isn't allowed to work on the ISS because of a US law that forbids the country from working there. The laws are there to prevent technology transfer to the Chinese.
Without a clear future for the ISS, countries are already making plans to be able to continue research in space. European space agencies are already sending astronauts to China to train. Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency was sent to train in China. The European Space Agency already has an agreement with the CMSA to send astronauts to the China Space Station once it is operational.