1st Workshop on International Cooperation for Sustainable Space Exploration

LOCATION: Abbazia di Spineto, Sarteano (Siena), Italy
DATES: 3 – 6 May 2005
The workshop gathered over 50 senior executives with responsibility in the field of space exploration from major space agencies world-wide - ASI (I), BNSC (UK), CNES (F), CSA (CAN), DLR (D), ESA, FFG (A), JAXA (JP), NASA (USA), NSC (N) and SNSB (S) – along with a selected number of space policy experts including the president of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF).

The focus of the workshop was on deepening mutual knowledge of each international partner’s exploration plan as well as start preliminary discussions on potential commonalities and synergies.
Over the two days, presentations from the various space agencies dealing with the objectives and the status of their exploration plans were heard, and were further enhanced through presentations from Prof. J. Logsdon, NASA, on the US Vision for Space Exploration, and by the President of the IAF and ESPI, Mr Zimmermann and Mr Plattard respectively, on the importance of space exploration and the role they believe international cooperation will play in the long run to turn these plans into realities.
Splinter groups
The following day participants were divided up into five splinter groups jointly chaired by ESA and ASI experts and organised around the following themes:

  • Lunar exploration;
  • Mars robotic exploration;
  • ISS and its evolution;
  • Enabling technologies and capabilities;
  • International cooperation
The aims of the splinter groups discussions were to address specific elements of space exploration both in terms of allowing participants to present their activities more in detail and to focus the debate on a particular stream trying to identify commonalities at Programme level. The debate was intense and useful information and views were exchanged, allowing each participant to gather fore front and detailed information about other international partners plans.
A very positive agreement was reached on the need for international cooperation although the agreement also called for a streamlining and rationalisation of the International fora dealing with it. A consensus was also reached on Lunar exploration, Mars robotic exploration priorities and Technology road mapping. A strong plea in favour of establishing standards and common interfaces was made.

The shared view among all participants was that this type of workshops fosters mutual understanding allowing international partners to appreciate the opportunities for Cooperation and initiate preliminary talks that may eventually lead to actual joint undertakings.

This was the first of a series of workshops being planned to foster the dialogue among space fairing nations with an interest in space exploration.
Last update: 21 February 2007