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US, Russia eye China catching up in space


09-15-2016 12:37 BJT

Full coverage: China Tiangong-2 Space Lab Launch

The United States and Russia have been leaders in International Space Station technology for decades. But there is a feeling now that other countries, including China, are catching up.

It's longer than a football field? And cost an estimated 100-billion dollars -with the help of five different space agencies and 26 countries.

For all the high-tech hurdles scientists had to clear - the International Space Station DOES have a shelf life?

Former NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao has spent about 230 days on the ISS -as commander.

Russia and the United States built key parts of the space station which Russia has agreed to operate until 2024.

After that - Russia wants to take its module  -and create its own space station.

This is how all astronauts must get to the International Space Agency - on a Russian Soyuz capsule.

The U.S. grounded its space shuttle program more than five years ago. The U.S. is looking beyond the Space Station and wants to send a team to Mars by 2030.

In the meantime -other nations are looking to partner up for the next generation space station.

But there is a current U.S. law that forbids NASA from working with China's space agency. This is what NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in 2014 to CCTV-America.

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