ESA and NASA sign Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in space transportation
Last Friday in Washington DC, ESA’s Director General, Jean-Jacques Dordain, and NASA’s Administrator, Charles Bolden, signed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning cooperation between the two agencies in the field of space transportation.
“The Memorandum of Understanding we have just signed marks a new milestone in the already very strong and long-lasting cooperation between ESA and NASA.” said Jean-Jacques Dordain at the signing ceremony. “The exchange of technical information this document allows in the field of space transportation will be beneficial to both agencies and will facilitate our work towards future launch systems, human spaceflight and exploration missions".
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) formalises the terms and conditions for the exchange of information between the two organisations, ensuring proper legal protection and balanced cooperation on a series of topics of common interest in the field of space transportation. It also foresees the possibility of cross-agency participation in specific reviews or working groups, joint studies, the use of technical facilities and exchanges of personnel.
The MoU covers a number of well-identified topics of common interest in the field of space transportation. For launchers, these include specific topics related to re-ignitable cryogenic launch vehicles, qualification methods, structures and materials, development approaches and engineering methods. In parallel, this agreement covers topics related to crew and cargo transportation systems and human rating approaches for launch vehicles in the frame of the Advanced Reentry Vehicle (ARV) and Constellation programmes. Specific implementation plans will be drawn up for each of these topics as both ESA and NASA look forward to utilising this new framework to achieve an even more fruitful dialogue between the two organisations.