China, India should join US space initiative, former astronaut says

Former NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson said Monday the U.S. should welcome foreign partnerships to help aide its space program, saying the government will face challenges if it pursues a plan to privatize the International Space Station.

“Well I think we need everyone. If I were the king, I would try to negotiate and figure out a way to bring China and India in with us as well. If you work with people in space, you don’t fight with them on the ground,” he said.

The Trump administration plans to stop funding the International Space Station and is looking to privatize the space program by 2025. On Monday, a budget proposal was released for the 2019 fiscal year and would have NASA turn over its space station operations to commercial partners.

“I think there is a way for [government and private sectors] to coexist and be successful in a partnership,” Anderson told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.”

However, Anderson is uncertain about whether commercial entities will be able to handle emergency situations without being backed by the government.

“Having a government entity that is behind you if your shuttles explode and kill people and you’re willing to put that full force of the government behind you to figure out what went wrong, that’s one way to look at it. As opposed to I’m not sure what the commercial guys will do if they run into heavy issues like that,” he said.