HSEI: Governance, Finance, Public Support

The Human Space Exploration Initiative (HSEI) examines the feasibility of competing visions for human space exploration

This program is no longer active.

The project examines the feasibility of competing visions for human space exploration, looking in particular at challenges in three key areas, central to realizing future prospects of humans in space: Governance, Financial Mechanisms, and Public Support. The purpose of this initiative is to explore new international perspectives on the future of human presence in space, assess their relative prospects, and build a new common global vision and agenda for the future of human space exploration.


Examining the ways space initiatives are led and organized by holding workshops and conferences on key governance questions, including the role of international cooperation, the role of the private sector, the impact of military space activities on civil space exploration, and legal and ethical challenges.


How can the financial market become increasingly involved in human space exploration activities? Is there a future business model for human space exploration? CSIS aims to study these questions with venture capital firms and financial market experts through workshops and various events.

Public Support

The project is also looking at the critical issue of public support for an expansive vision for human space exploration. The idea of space exploration has an imaginative appeal for most people, but when ranked against other government spending priorities, it often falls towards the bottom of the list. Is it possible to build a broad, international and sustainable constituency for human space exploration?

The project is examining these issues from both near-term and long-term perspectives. It is assessing the space exploration visions and strategies of the world's current space powers, including recently announced strategies by China, Europe, and the United States. It is also considering the longer-term possibilities for space exploration, beyond the narrow confines of present-day realities.

Over the course of the Human Space Exploration Initiative, CSIS is building partnerships, working with groups and governments across the world to implement these and other recommendations. To catalyze these efforts, CSIS has hosted two Global Space Development Summits in 2008 and 2009

The Human Space Exploration Initiative at CSIS was unveiled in February 2005 with a conference in Brussels, Belgium. Click here for an informational brochure.