Sunday, 22 May 2011

Chinese Journalists Barred from Shuttle Launch!




 

William Pentland CAPE CANAVERAL, FL - MAY 15:  The U.S. and End...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Chinese journalists were not allowed into the Kennedy Space Center for the May 16th space-shuttle launch as the result of a little-noticed provision in the federal budget approved by Congress in April.

Ironically, Chinese scientists were responsible for building key parts of the Endeavor’s $2 billion payload, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.

A spokesperson for the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration told ScienceInsider that the agency was simply following instructions in last month’s spending bill, which prohibited NASA from using any resources to host Chinese officials at any NASA facility.



The Chinese journalists were considered government employees and thus subject to the ban because they worked for an official Chinese news agency, Xinhua.

An editorial on Wednesday in China Daily attacked the policy as insulting and counterproductive:

China’s scientists have played a crucial role in designing and manufacturing some core parts of the device. However, Chinese journalists who hoped to cover the launching of Endeavor were denied entry to the site by a ban initiated by Frank Wolf, chairman of the Committee of Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies in the House of Representatives.
The United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) revoked the media passes granted to journalists from China due to the ban, or the ‘Wolf Clause’, which was regarded as ‘discriminative’ by even Americans themselves.
The ban — also known as the ‘Wolf clause’ because it was sponsored by Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) — also prohibits scientific collaboration between Chinese and U.S. scientists. For a more detailed history of the ban, please read a previous my previous post on the issue here.

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1 comment:

  1. Must be insane: Chinese journalists barred from Shuttle launch. Ironically, Chinese scientists were responsible for building key parts of the Endeavor’s $2 billion payload, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer!

    ReplyDelete