A joint framework for a global space exploration strategy
enabling vehicle interoperability and property rights agreements has been made public today by its authors, 14 of the world’s space agencies and organisations.
The voluntary framework for coordination allows governments to opt into joint missions, share scientific data and participate in a forum, the international coordination mechanism.
Through the framework, mission communications and control, life support and manned spacecraft docking systems could be agreed to enable interoperability.
The forum, meanwhile, could help resolve issues of future property rights on the Moon and Mars and enable agreement on the protection of sites of interest.
But the 25-page Global Exploration Strategy: A Framework for Coordination
document stresses the voluntary nature of space bodies’ membership.
“We are interested in a variable geometry, following our own interests in a coordinated way,” says British National Space Centre
space science director David Parker, speaking at this week’s 3rd Italian Space Agency/European Space Agency workshop on international cooperation for sustainable exploration
The framework document was drawn up earlier this year and has now been approved by all those involved (Flight International
, 20-26 March).
Those involved include NASA
, Russia’s Federal Space Agency, Korean Aerospace Research Institute
, Ukrainian space agency, Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
, Canadian Space Agency (CSA)
and Indian Space Research Organisation.
The next strategy meeting is to be in Berlin
in December. The CSA has offered to host an event early next year.