[Sources: C-Span Newsmakers, April 8; Space Daily , April 2, CCTV, Russia]
After 2010, the United States "will be unable to access independently the space station that we largely built," NASA Administrator Mike Griffin said in a C-Span interview taped on April 5 and aired Sunday. Griffin also reaffirmed earlier comments that China could place men on the Moon before the U.S. is able to return there.
Griffin said one of his concerns is the "posture of the U.S. in the world, as a nation among nations." He stated that Russia, the U.S., and China can launch men into space, the Indians have stated their intention to do so, and "Japan or Europe could do it any time they make a political decision to do it."
Meanwhile, news broke last week of Russian moves to strengthen its space program, and to seek cooperation with China, possibly including a manned Moon landing. The head of the Krunichev State Research and Production Center said April 5 that China will be Russia's partner in space exploration, with robotic expeditions planned to Mars andto one of Mars's moons, according to Russian television reports.
According to a Russian official, Russia has tried to integrate its space program with that of the United States, but given the new defense-related orientation of U.S. space efforts, they have turned more to the Chinese, who have come a long way in their space program. "We have the capability to put a man on the moon," the official said, "and the Chinese have the money to pay for it."
In a closely related development, Russian President Vladimir Putin took the entire state council to the city of Kaluga, the birthplace of Russian space pioneer Konstantin Tsiolkovsky to discuss the future of the Russian space program, according to the April 2 Space Daily. The trip occurred just days after the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao, at which a landmark joint Mars program was discussed.
Russia , China , and India
In the C-Span interview, Griffin said that the U.S. will "sacrifice the level of technological and strategic leadership we created, [in manned space flight], will no longer be supreme, and in a few years, we won't be there at all."
Griffin's concerns touch on a crucial question of U.S. global strategy, addressed by Lyndon H. LaRouche in aon Russia's role in the Iran situation. LaRouche points out there, that it is in the urgent interest of the United States to find the necessary pathways for co-operation with Russia, China, and India around a reorganization of the presently bankrupt international financial and monetary system. "An agreement of the type I know to be scientifically feasible, among those four leading powers," writes LaRouche, "an agreement to a return to President Franklin Roosevelt's intention for a vigorously anti-colonialist, post-World War II Bretton Woods fixed-exchange-rate system, would immediately rally the principal amount of trading potential of the world, to a sufficient extent, to make necessary interim, emergency steps workable."