Space Agencies Continue Talks on Global Exploration Strategy
WASHINGTON -- Representatives of 11 space agencies from around the world gathered in Montreal July 10 - 12 to continue the coordination of programs to extend human and robotic presence throughout the solar system.
In May 2007, multilateral space agency discussions resulted in the release of "The Global Exploration Strategy - The Framework for Coordination." The document is a product of a shared vision of space exploration focused on solar system destinations where humans may someday live and work. It represents an important first step in coordinating space exploration efforts toward common goals. The framework envisions a coordination mechanism to facilitate international planning, leading to the establishment of the International Space Exploration Coordination Group, or ISECG.
During last week's ISECG meeting in Montreal, hosted by the Canadian Space Agency, the participants made significant progress on a number of areas that will facilitate cooperation. Among the accomplishments were establishing an ISECG secretariat to be initially hosted by the European Space Agency; plans for conducting effective public engagement; and development of tools for sharing information on exploration capabilities and mission plans across agencies. The participants also took initial steps toward identifying critical space infrastructure interfaces, such as between spacecraft, lunar rovers and lunar habitats, which if standardized would increase opportunities for international cooperation.
The agencies reaffirmed the importance of the steps taken in Montreal toward ensuring a comprehensive global approach to space exploration and maintaining an open dialogue as the space exploration architecture planning of individual space agencies moves forward.
Attending the meeting were representatives of Australia, Canada, the European Space Agency, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Ukraine and the United States.
For more information on the Global Exploration Strategy, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration
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