The Case for Managed International Cooperation in Space Exploration
September 18, 2006
This paper describes four rationales for international cooperation in space exploration. Cooperation for the purposes of funding, foreign relations, political sustainability and workforce stability all provide nations with an incentive to cooperate. When these rationales are complementary, cooperation can provide an increase in value for each participating nation. Specific recommendations for cooperative modalities are suggested, focusing on the sensitive issues of unilateral program termination, critical-path cooperation, interoperability and industrial cooperation. Finally, this paper suggests a means by which cooperating nations may exercise “soft power” leadership through a standards creation process.