“The incoming head of the European Space Agency said in a published interview that the International Space Station* should be opened up to astronauts from India and China,” Reuters reports.
“The $100 billion space station, visible from Earth to the naked eye, is a habitable research outpost backed by 15 countries including the United States, Russia and Germany. China and India are not part of the group,” according to Reuters.
“We need to get away from the principle of being a closed club,” Johann-Dietrich Woerner** told German magazine Spiegel.
“NASA’s costs for operating the station, which flies about 250 miles (400 km) above Earth, run about $3 billion a year,” Reuters notes.
*) “The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit. Its first component launched into orbit in 1998, the ISS is now the largest artificial body in orbit and can often be seen with the naked eye from Earth.¬†The ISS consists of pressurised modules, external trusses, solar arraysand other components. ISS components have been launched by American Space Shuttles as well as RussianProton and Soyuz rockets,” according to Wikipedia.
**)¬†Johann-Dietrich W√∂rner¬†(above) (born July 18, 1954) is the current administrator of the German Aerospace Center. In December 2014, he has been selected to become the next Director General of ESA, replacing Jean-Jacques Dordain. He will take office on July 1, 2015.