Manned spaceflight experience
Sending humans into orbit no longer remains the niche capability possessed only by the US and Russia. China, having conducted three manned spaceflights and an extravehicular activity (EVA) since 2003, has entered the human spaceflight arena. In becoming a member of the astronaut club, Beijing has created additional political pressures on the US manned space program, which has suffered from declining budgets and downsizing during the last 20 years. Furthermore, achieving manned spaceflight capability has brought China additional prestige and geopolitical influence, which may be increased by competing in a race that the US won 40 years ago. With American policy seeking to isolate China on the possibility of cooperation, largely due to concerns about human rights and technology transfer, the stage seems set for another race to the Moon and a threat to American international leadership in human spaceflight.
KeywordsTechnology Transfer Aerospace Technology Political Pressure Space Program Manned Space
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