US, China consulted on safety as their crafts headed to Mars
A visitor to an exhibition looks at a display with a replica of the Chinese Mars Rover of the Tianwen-1 spacecraft in Beijing on March 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)BEIJING – As their respective spacecrafts headed to Mars, China and the U.S. held consultations earlier this year in a somewhat unusual series of exchanges between the rivals. China's National Space Agency confirmed Wednesday that it had working-level meetings and communications with NASA from January to March “to ensure the flight safety" of their crafts. U.S. law bans almost all contacts between NASA and China over concerns about technology theft and the secretive, military-backed nature of China’s space program. China's Tianwen-1 is orbiting Mars in preparation for a landing in May or June.