Space race starting between US, China?
Former NASA astronaut Tom Jones weighs in
- Duration 3:37
- Date Jun 21, 2012
Former NASA astronaut Tom Jones weighs in
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Well right now as the US shuttle program heads for the history books.
China's space plans are making fresh headlines the latest news a successful email sent from ground control -- three Chinese astronauts.
Who are taking part in the country's first manned space docking.
Among the crew China's first female astronaut so could this be the start of the space race between the US and China Tom Jones is a former NASA astronaut.
He's a Fox News contributor is also author of a book called Scientology's unlocking the secrets.
Of the solar system and it's always I've talked to use Tom thanks very much for being here let's.
Let's start with China's space program couple things we want to discuss with you but how should we feel about these developments these advances taking place inside China.
How we can take some -- satisfaction rake in that.
The Chinese are taking steps in space that we took back in the 1960s and 1970s so they are not approaching the sophistication we had a lot of areas of our space program.
That said they are able to fly astronauts to space and we are not able to do that now and -- for about the next five years and that's a decision on the part of our government and I think we are happy to be embarrassed about that.
All right well we'll talk about manned space flight here in the US -- just a minute but I want to ask you about.
The US space probe Voyager one which is now going places where no other probe has gone before what's the significance here.
Well Voyager one has been on a long long journey since its launch in 1977 and the latest readings from that spacecraft -- 120 times as far away from the sun as the earth is.
Are that it's seeing signs of departing the edge of the sun's sphere of influence that.
The amount the protections of cosmic rays energetic particles from across the galaxy are rising.
And the sun's magnetic field measurements there and Voyager one are fading so it may be going out beyond the boundary -- -- Helio pods.
Where the sun's influence ends and that's a major milestone to send a machine that out not far.
And on board the machines and disks -- is reading about that have some audio and video messages from the president of United States for example that.
Secretary General of the UN along with some music I love this Tom there's songs works by Mozart.
And also a recording of chuck Berry's Johnny be good who are we hope and finds this.
It's a great way to send your -- a robot emissary out into the the interstellar medium and if in about 40000 years when Voyager one passes near another nondescript star like our sun.
Somebody's out there cruising around it may pick this up.
And get some evidence of the civilization -- that's reason for the record on board.
-- -- -- any expectation though that it's gonna be found for you know tens of thousands or even longer period of time.
All right I like the musical choices by the way are and finally -- a private company united launch alliance successfully launching a military satellite.
In this -- this is the company that wants to get into the man space mission business within the next few years tell us about this.
Well it's a great success for our military space program missiles and atlas five launch to -- -- -- a replacement communications satellite in orbit this morning.
-- -- classified but this is the eleventh launch this year for our military space program which actually spends more money.
Then NASA civil program does so it's not that the US doesn't have the skills.
And the rockets that's needed to explore space it's just a matter how -- And many resources we devote to it and so I think.
There's some hope that we can use the skills on both the military and in -- -- side of the house to reconstruct.
Our space program if we give -- the proper priority and that's my my argument that we should be boosting the NASA budget.
The book is called -- ecology a Tom Jones is a former shuttle astronaut nice to see you again thanks so much for your time.