NASA Administrator Bill Nelson has said he supports making permanent the Wolf Amendment, which excludes China from participating in the International Space Station research program.
Nelson recently appeared before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing in Congress, which began with Committee Chairman Eddie Johnson (R-Texas) noting that China is clearly in for a long term of space exploration and that the U.S. needs to recognize and respond to that. When asked if he supported the Wolf Clause and its perpetuation, Nelson stated, “Yes, I do.”
Republican Rep. Micheal Waltz (R-Va.) then cited recent progress in Chinese space exploration, saying that China is openly talking about replacing the U.S. as a superpower in space, and asked Nielsen if he agreed that the U.S. would no longer hold the number one position. Nielsen replied, “The United States deserves to be number one.”
But Nielsen said, “That doesn’t mean that the U.S. and China can’t find areas of cooperation where they can eliminate the danger of space resources colliding with each other and reduce space junk.”
In 2011, the U.S. introduced the Wolf Clause to exclude China from the International Space Station research program, citing national security concerns and prohibiting any joint research activities between the U.S. and China that are related to NASA or coordinated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Reportedly: During an appearance at a U.S. House hearing, Nielsen called on the Science, Space and Technology Committee to support an increase in NASA’s FY 2022 budget that would allow the United States to better compete with China.