President Donald Trump said on Monday that China is ready to come back to the negotiating table and the two countries will start talking very seriously.Politicsread more
The escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing dominated discussions at the G-7 gathering in France.Politicsread more
China's state media is putting up a brave front as the country's trade war with the U.S. escalated sharply over the weekend.China Economyread more
The latest round of tariff announcements in the last few days means that by the end of the year, essentially all Chinese goods exported to the U.S. will be subject to duties.China Economyread more
U.S. stock futures surged Monday morning after President Trump said China is ready to come back to the negotiating table following a phone call Sunday and the two countries...Marketsread more
As Washington and Beijing continue to up the ante in their protracted trade fight, the potential of a recession in the U.S. is now "the biggest concern," according to Standard...US Economyread more
Tensions stemming from the U.S.-China trade war escalated sharply over the last few days, with much happening as Asian markets were shut down for the weekend.China Economyread more
Clouding the G-7 gathering, which represents the world's major industrial economies, are the tit-for-tat tariffs between Washington and Beijing.Politicsread more
Neither the U.S. nor China wants to be seen as the party that derailed trade talks, says William Reinsch of Center for Strategic and International Studies.World Economyread more
China said Friday it will be resuming 25% duties on U.S. autos, and a further 5% on auto parts and components.Asia Marketsread more
World leaders, environmental groups and celebrities have publicly decried the vast swaths of forest being destroyed by the fires.World Newsread more
Nowadays, discussions about the future of space are more likely to reference private companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin than NASA — the federal agency responsible for putting a man on the moon.
On Thursday, the Trump administration released a set of guidelines to reform and update U.S. policy toward private space endeavors. Tellingly, NASA's sole mention came at the end of the document announcing President Donald Trump's directive, where he called for the space agency to "return American astronauts to the moon, followed by human missions to Mars."
U.S. astronaut Peggy Whitson, who's been making the rounds in the media recently to promote "One Strange Rock" — a series about the complexity of human life on earth — told CNBC in an interview that another journey to the moon was advisable before aiming for Mars. There are lessons that need to be learned before undertaking a farther and riskier journey to the red planet, she said.
"Going to the moon first is smart, just like we're learning about how longer duration in space is smart," said Whitson, who spent so many days in orbit that one of her colleagues called her an "American space ninja."
She added that NASA was critical to testing theories, and laying a blueprint that SpaceX and others should follow as they endeavor to send humans to Mars, and perhaps beyond. "We need to test new techniques and make sure they're going to work," she added.
Trump's announcement last week underscored the meteoric rise of commercial ventures, and the commensurate decline in NASA's public profile.
It also broadly reflects a society ambivalent at best about the government's role in pioneering the next phase of space exploration. A 2015 Pew Research Center poll showed that nearly half of adults say the federal government's place in future space travel should be minimal or nonexistent.
Yet as the next global space race develops, Whitson thinks people shouldn't be so quick to discount NASA's involvement. She believes the agency is set to do much of the heavy lifting that private companies will need to flourish in outer space.
"NASA is doing what it should be doing as a government organization … the real deep space exploration that allows commercial providers to have the means for going," the Iowa native and former commander of the International Space Station told CNBC.
It means that entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, who boasted in March that SpaceX could be ready to send a rocket to Mars as soon as next year, will still need NASA to set the stage for the eventual exploration and colonization of other planets, Whitson said.
"Elon says he's going to get [to Mars] first, and that would be great, but there's a lot of test" beforehand, she told CNBC. "In the future there will be commercial companies in space, but until then ... NASA has to progress and build a presence."
Nor should the U.S. try and go it alone, Whitson added. She insisted that the future of international cooperation in space travel remains bright — even with geopolitical tensions flare.
"I actually think that the space station is demonstrating what we can do internationally — [with] any great endeavor it's going to be most successful and best done internationally," the astronaut told CNBC.
The legacy of the ISS will be that "we can do these complex things together internationally. I know it sounds a little like rose-colored glasses, but if we can do this maybe it will be our path forward in the future."