Back to Index
Science & Exploration

N° 44–1993: Joint statement Space Station Heads of Agencies meeting

9 November 1993

Pursuant to the Joint Statement on potential Russian involvement in the Space Station issued by the United States, Canada, Japan and Member States of the European Space Agency on 16 October 1993, the heads of the space agencies involved in the International Space Station, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the European Space Agency (ESA), the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) and the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), together with the head of the Russian Space Agency (RSA), met in Montreal, Canada on 7 November 1993.

This was the first collective meeting of the Space Station partners with Russia, which is a significant step in the consideration of broadening the International Space Station partnership. The heads of agencies reviewed the outcome of the joint NASA/RSA studies conducted over the last several months and reflected in the Addendum to the Space Station Alpha Programme Implementation Plan of 1 November 1993, and discussed the possible participation of Russia as a partner in the International Space Station.

Such a project would be the largest such undertaking in history, bringing together the combined space efforts of Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the United States. The CSA, ESA and NASDA expressed their appreciation for the information provided in the Addendum, which outlines an enhanced programme that could lead to a more robust and reliable International Space Station that would benefit all of the partners. They also expressed their appreciation for the efforts undertaken by NASA and RSA in producing this Addendum and welcomed the additional information provided at this meeting.

The heads of agencies noted that Phase 1 involving the Space Shuttle and the MIR station, with its attendant science, technology and operations activities, offers an early opportunity for learning and experience. This Phase is intended to greatly reduce the risk for all of the partners during the combined Phase 2/Phase 3 activities to construct, operate and utilise the International Space Station.

The head of the RSA expressed to his counterparts Russia's firm desire to participate as a partner, contributing additional capabilities and resources, whilst acknowledging the attendant obligations and responsibilities it would undertake as a full partner. Recognizing the potential benefits to be gained, CSA, ESA, NASDA and NASA agreed on the need to complete an intense process at all levels that could lead to Russia becoming a full partner in the International Space Station.