7
International Cooperation and Competition—Why, How, When?

The final topic of discussion at the workshop was international cooperation and competition. Eric Rice, president and CEO of Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC), was the panel moderator. Four panelists participated in the discussion: Ian Pryke, Center for Aerospace Policy Research at George Mason University (formerly with the European Space Agency); Joan Johnson-Freese, Naval War College; Joanne Gabrynowicz, National Remote Sensing and Space Law Center at the University of Mississippi; and Marcia Smith, Congressional Research Service. Each was asked to direct their discussion to a set of focusing questions to be answered with respect to their areas of expertise and experience:

  • What are the real goals and interests of the nations of the world with respect to their involvement in space tourism, space exploration, space bases, space commercialization, space settlements, and planetary terraforming?

  • What are the specific short- and long-term goals and objectives of the United States, the European Space Agency (ESA), China, Japan, and Russia in terms of their national and international space activities?

  • Should future manned lunar surface and Mars surface activity be national (U.S.) or international? What are the economic, social, political, or other benefits to be gained by nations doing it alone vs. doing it together with all or several partners?

  • Discuss implications of the ASTRA paradigm in terms of international cooperation and competition. When government agreements on ISS are complete, what should happen in the future? How will China’s new space capability enter into U.S. decisions?

  • What are the commercial and political issues related to mining and use of insitu resources on planetary surfaces by one nation, several nations, or the whole space community? What should be done from the international perspective?

Ian Pryke began the discussion with a basic overview of international cooperation. He stated that international cooperation is not intrinsically good; it is done because there is some net benefit or some advantage to the partners. It is not a universal panacea, and an international project is most likely to face increased management complexity and cost. Pryke also mentioned that because countries cooperate in some areas does not mean they cannot compete in others.

International cooperation can be used as a tool of foreign policy. The International Space Station is one example. Pryke believes that had it not been used as such a tool, it would not have survived the administration of President William Clinton. Using a technology project in this way can be a double-edged sword. The project can become a hostage to foreign policy—policy that can and does change. The rationale for cooperation



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Stepping-Stones to the Future of Space Exploration: A Workshop Report 7 International Cooperation and Competition—Why, How, When? The final topic of discussion at the workshop was international cooperation and competition. Eric Rice, president and CEO of Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC), was the panel moderator. Four panelists participated in the discussion: Ian Pryke, Center for Aerospace Policy Research at George Mason University (formerly with the European Space Agency); Joan Johnson-Freese, Naval War College; Joanne Gabrynowicz, National Remote Sensing and Space Law Center at the University of Mississippi; and Marcia Smith, Congressional Research Service. Each was asked to direct their discussion to a set of focusing questions to be answered with respect to their areas of expertise and experience: What are the real goals and interests of the nations of the world with respect to their involvement in space tourism, space exploration, space bases, space commercialization, space settlements, and planetary terraforming? What are the specific short- and long-term goals and objectives of the United States, the European Space Agency (ESA), China, Japan, and Russia in terms of their national and international space activities? Should future manned lunar surface and Mars surface activity be national (U.S.) or international? What are the economic, social, political, or other benefits to be gained by nations doing it alone vs. doing it together with all or several partners? Discuss implications of the ASTRA paradigm in terms of international cooperation and competition. When government agreements on ISS are complete, what should happen in the future? How will China’s new space capability enter into U.S. decisions? What are the commercial and political issues related to mining and use of insitu resources on planetary surfaces by one nation, several nations, or the whole space community? What should be done from the international perspective? Ian Pryke began the discussion with a basic overview of international cooperation. He stated that international cooperation is not intrinsically good; it is done because there is some net benefit or some advantage to the partners. It is not a universal panacea, and an international project is most likely to face increased management complexity and cost. Pryke also mentioned that because countries cooperate in some areas does not mean they cannot compete in others. International cooperation can be used as a tool of foreign policy. The International Space Station is one example. Pryke believes that had it not been used as such a tool, it would not have survived the administration of President William Clinton. Using a technology project in this way can be a double-edged sword. The project can become a hostage to foreign policy—policy that can and does change. The rationale for cooperation

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Stepping-Stones to the Future of Space Exploration: A Workshop Report varies from partner to partner. However, as long as the end goal is the same, partners can still work together. Pryke observed that if you can get a country to cooperate with you on your space program and spend its money to do so, it will have less money to pursue other objectives that you may not like. Pryke mentioned that space is no longer a cold war competition between two superpowers. Many countries have active, mature space programs. This maturing capability makes them prime candidates for partnership or competition. International cooperation tends to make the project more affordable for each party involved, although the overall cost of implementation increases. Moreover, when more countries are involved, the expertise base for the project is broader and robustness and redundancy are added (e.g., backup launch capacity such as that provided by Russian Soyuz for access to the ISS while the shuttle is grounded). International cooperation can also add legitimacy to a program and assist in its advocacy within national government debate. Pryke then moved on to answer the question of why we should have international cooperation for the President’s vision. He said the answer is “because the President said so,” meaning that the decision—that there should be an international component—had been debated and decided at the highest levels. Such debate has yet to take place within the governments of potential partners. However, since the January speech, the White House has been silent on its vision. If it is serious about involving other nations, the administration should be discussing this with them at high levels. Other countries will need to determine why it would be in their best interests to cooperate. In the President’s policy document outlining the new exploration vision, there is only discussion of furthering U.S. goals.1 In remarks made following the President’s speech, NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe also confirmed that it would be a U.S.-led initiative aimed at achieving U.S. objectives.2 Three classes of cooperating countries were suggested by Pryke: (1) Current members of the ISS cooperative agreement (Canada, Europe, Japan, and Russia), (2) China, now a major space power by virtue of being the third nation that has put an astronaut into space, and (3) other nations such as India, Brazil, and Israel, which have smaller space programs and that can perhaps be involved in robotics. Europe has its own program, Aurora, which is developing a plan for solar system exploration. A number of missions are in the preliminary planning stage. There are some good overlaps between the plans of Aurora and NASA. Pryke mentioned that there are various models of cooperation that can be considered, ranging from program coordination through programmatic interdependence to dedicated international institutions. Pryke suggested that the United States should engage the international community sooner rather than later. Before the ISS was announced by President Ronald Reagan, the United States had already approached all the partners some months in advance. In contrast, for this new vision, the ISS implementing agencies were called the day of the vision announcement. Steidle said that the Aldridge commission has asked NASA to produce plan for potential international partners. 1   National Aeronautics and Space Administration, The Vision for Space Exploration, February 2004. 2   Transcript from the NASA Press Conference on the Future Vision for Exploration, January 14, 2004. Available online at <http://www.nasa.gov/missions/solarsystem/explore_main.html>, accessed March 23, 2004.

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Stepping-Stones to the Future of Space Exploration: A Workshop Report The panel moderator, Eric Rice, began the discussion period by asking if Pryke felt a need for an international space authority to control the Moon or space. Pryke believed that events do not yet warrant that. There are other treaties that have been ratified that will help resolve any space cooperation issues. John Cullen, staff member for the Senate Commerce committee, asked, How high a hurdle is ISS completion to future cooperation? Pryke stated that discontinuing the ISS effort now would create barriers to any new cooperation effort. However, the new vision does include completing the ISS, and at this time there is no clearly defined end date for U.S. participation in the program. Steering committee member Dava Newman asked about the attitude of other countries (including the public and media) toward further space exploration. Pryke mentioned that Great Britain is not very interested in human exploration. They are not participating in European human endeavors or in the ISS but are interested in robotic exploration. The British are debating the extent to which they want to be involved in the Aurora program. As for the rest of Europe, when European astronauts fly on U.S. shuttles, they return as real heroes. So there is strong public interest. Whether that can be nurtured to the point of a major human initiative remains to be seen, Pryke said. Joan Johnson-Freese, an expert on the Chinese space program, began her presentation via teleconference by discussing the autumn 2003 Chinese launch of a human into space. With this launch, China became the third country with manned launch capabilities. The launch had been preceded by four unmanned precursor launches. There were no technical surprises, but there were two political surprises: (1) Chinese leader Jiang Zemin was not in attendance even though he was a proponent of the manned space program and (2) the government was very open about its launch and there was none of the secrecy usually surrounding Chinese military operations. Johnson-Freese suggested that the reasons for the openness were not unlike those of the Apollo era: domestic pride, credibility, international prestige, economic development, jobs, science and engineering education support, and hero development. Technology for such a spaceflight will transfer between military and civil space, providing dual-use capability. There are 150,000 aerospace workers in 130 organizations—their aerospace program is a huge jobs program. China has also been a leader in supporting a treaty banning space weapons and is pursuing asymmetric responses to space weapons (e.g., antisatellite weapons (ASATs)). China understands that the United States is the only space superpower and is not trying to seek parity. However, it does recognize that space is a strategic asset. China desires its own strategic assets and does not want to rely on other nations. It does not want the technology gap between the United States and China to widen. It also seeks inclusion in what is sometimes referred to as the international family of spacefaring nations, which often cooperate with one another. China’s capsule design was based on the Russian Soyuz, but with Chinese updates. The next step is to develop and launch a laboratory in space (i.e., an orbital module) and a small space station (smaller than the Russian Mir). The space program will probably launch two or three astronauts at its next launch, in 2005. Its lunar program, called Chang’e, includes an unmanned lunar orbiter, a lander by 2010, and eventually a sample return. The government has not yet officially announced a manned lunar mission, but such a mission is eventually expected. Ultimately, what the Chinese do in space will be

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Stepping-Stones to the Future of Space Exploration: A Workshop Report determined by (1) economics and (2) space posturing (i.e., Space Wei Qi 3). The government is spending scarce currency to make this program work. Future work will be based on spending at an economically feasible rate. The program is also based on posturing for the future and avoiding enlargement of the technology gap. Johnson-Freese mentioned that the United States was rather reticent in its discussion of the Chinese success. Other nations were congratulatory and welcomed China to the space community. She also commented on the details of the new U.S. space vision, asking whether it was a “vision for the millennium or a $12 billion set of PowerPoint slides.” Johnson-Freese believes that there are several conditions for success of the vision, including (1) high-level, sustained commitment, (2) relative affordability, and (3) a clear goal. She thinks the vision should be inclusive and international. The strategic vision for space differs from country to country. The United States has established itself as international power but now needs to be an international leader. There are many different reasons for international cooperation in space. For example, Japan desires research under microgravity conditions. Johnson-Freese mentioned that pulling such research from the future ISS plans would be bad for the Japanese. Europe looks to form a European identity. China looks for legitimacy. Johnson-Freese believes that the United States should not pursue the vision alone because it would be too expensive. She warned that other countries might form partnerships without us. It is better to be part of the international community. Johnson-Freese went on to discuss the ASTRA paradigm. She believes that there is strength in the recognition of infrastructure, but it appears to be somewhat linear in nature—that is, it assumes an equal-increment progression from Step 1 to Step 2 to Step 3. She suggested that this incremental progression was improbable and that it is possible to emphasize process over product. She stressed that NASA should not become mired in process and organization rather than product. John Mankins, NASA Headquarters, asked if any of the panelists knew of industrial models for international cooperation that might help in the development of ASTRA. Pryke said there were a few examples of industry consolidation in Europe that crosses borders (e.g., the Concorde). Johnson-Freese mentioned that China is working with a number of industry partners for viability. However, the chances of getting China involved are slim. Joanne Gabrynowicz began her presentation by mentioning that international cooperation and competition occur in legal and political as well as technical forums. Events surrounding space technologies and cases have catalyzed the setting of precedents in the law. Sputnik led to the formation of the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and four different treaties. The Cosmos 954 nuclearpowered satellite that hit Canada resulted in a set of principles on Nuclear Power Sources (NPS Principles).4 Landsat led to the United Nations Principles on Remote Sensing. In general, previous technologies have set the bar for the legal uses of space. There is also a trend for social conditions to catalyze political and legal responses—for 3   Joan Johnson-Freese, Space Wei Qi, The Launch of Shenzhou V, Naval War College Review, Spring 2004, LVII (2): 121-145. 4   A Soviet nuclear-powered spy satellite, Cosmos 954, crashed in northern Canada in 1978. This event led to the emergence of issues related to the use of nuclear power in space and the United Nations Principles Relevant to the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space. Text is available online at <http://www.oosa.unvienna.org/SpaceLaw/nps.html>; accessed March 15, 2004.

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Stepping-Stones to the Future of Space Exploration: A Workshop Report example, the Declaration on International Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for the Benefit and in the Interest of All States, Taking into Particular Account the Needs of Developing Countries.5 Gabrynowicz mentioned that every component of the new U.S. space vision raises legal questions: The space shuttle termination raises contracts and procurement issues. Termination of the ISS raises similar concerns, including the fact that all agreements were premised on evolution of the station. Some rights and obligations extend beyond termination. The ISS cooperative agreement is essentially a treaty of sorts. Permanent lunar base activity will raise issues such as property rights, territory rights versus rights to resources, and military uses. A human Mars mission raises environmental legal issues, informed consent for astronauts issues, and a variety of treaty issues, including whether or not there needs to be a Mars treaty. Gabrynowicz identified potential legal issues that arose from discussions in this workshop. For example, depending on the circumstances, “space mission denial” and “space-based engagement” can be potential treaty violations. The Outer Space Treaty6 provides that nonexclusive access to space is a right of all signatories. Project Prometheus could raise additional legal issues. The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty prohibits nuclear explosions in space. Will Prometheus technology involve explosions regardless of size? The NPS Principles distinguish between reactors and radioisotope generators and specify design requirements. Will Prometheus technology meet these? Other nuclear uses may violate United Nations principles on nuclear power sources. Using the Moon is also extremely controversial. The Outer Space Treaty is silent on property rights. Gabrynowicz believes legally that there is nothing that prohibits commercial use of the Moon under government supervision. Modes of international interaction range from competition (e.g., Apollo, Sputnik) to cooperation (e.g., ISS) to integration (e.g., Earth observations such as NPOESS/Initial Joint Polar-Orbiting Operational Satellite System, Global Monitoring for Environment and Security, Disaster Charter/Group on Earth Observations). The CUPUOS has a legal subcommittee. The Russians have indicated in this forum that they want to eliminate the existing treaties and start over with a comprehensive treaty. Gabrynowicz also mentioned that space activities are increasingly blurring the line between military use and civil use, increasing the technology divide. She also noted that a new generation of space law is emerging as new spacefarers like China and Nigeria become active. Gabrynowicz said international law tends to be unenforceable, but the court of public opinion is becoming more influential. She cautioned that the space community should be very 5   Text of the declaration is available online at <http://www.oosa.unvienna.org/SpaceLaw/spbentxt.htm>; accessed April 14, 2004. 6   The United Nations Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space was entered into force in October 1967. Text is available online at <http://www.oosa.unvienna.org/SpaceLaw/outerspt.html>; accessed March 15, 2004.

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Stepping-Stones to the Future of Space Exploration: A Workshop Report careful with the words it uses. For example, she said there is a legal distinction between “colonization” and “settlement.” Marcia Smith of the Congressional Research Service completed the panel’s remarks with an overview of international issues in outer space. Whether there should be international cooperation for the new exploration vision is really a nonissue, she said, because President Bush had decreed in his policy directive that it would happen. Instead, the question becomes, Who will take us up on the offer? The President’s initiative includes robotic as well as human exploration, opening the initiative to a wide range of countries. The participation of any nation is subject to the availability of funds, which is a complicating factor for its partners. For example, NASA never knows what its future budget will be, making it difficult for potential partners to evaluate the likelihood of a particular project succeeding. Smith stated that the U.S. space program itself was born from both cooperation and competition, starting with the 1957-1958 International Geophysical Year. NASA’s 1958 charter includes language directing the agency to cooperate with other nations. Among other things, NASA needed worldwide tracking sites, which was one motivating factor for international cooperation.. Cooperation was born of practicality more than altruism. She noted that many think of the Apollo program as the centerpiece of the U.S.-Soviet space race. However, one month before he was assassinated, President Kennedy spoke before the United Nations and invited the Soviet Union to join in that endeavor. After Kennedy died, President Johnson chose to pursue Apollo as a national effort. (The Soviet Union never responded to the invitation in any case.). Thirty years later, participation in ISS was a carrot offered by the United States to the new Russia in exchange for Russia agreeing to abide by rules to stem the proliferation of ballistic missile technology. Smith commented that, in the future, the United States will need to be viewed as a reliable partner for space cooperation. A period of general discussion followed Smith’s presentation. Committee chair Branscome asked which cooperative models are the most successful (one such model is industry multinational cooperation). Gabrynowicz mentioned that collaborative private law agreements are a new initiative. These agreements are multinational in nature but are executed by private parties. The UNIDROIT Convention, for example, is being negotiated now on financing space assets (i.e., creditor-debtor relationships, banking). Smith said that cooperation usually assumes each partner brings its own money to the table. Pryke mentioned another commercial model involving Arianespace, International Launch Services, and the Japanese, which are agreeing to back up each other’s launch systems. John Mimikakis, staffer from the House Science Committee, asked if this cooperation was something the administration will take seriously. He also asked the panelists what options the administration has for getting out of its space agreements. Pryke mentioned that quitting the ISS would create so much anti-U.S. feeling that further cooperation might not be possible. Gabrynowicz mentioned the superconducting supercollider as an example of a project that was terminated because the partners failed to fund their share of the project. In the case of the ISS, however, the partners have already provided substantial amounts of money. Smith mentioned the example of Ulysses in the 1980s, where the U.S. unilaterally pulled out from the project and did not deliver the promised

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Stepping-Stones to the Future of Space Exploration: A Workshop Report spacecraft.7 Europe has not forgotten. Major changes in ISS were also problematic. In the future, countries may decide to partner with countries other than the United States. Donna Shirley asked if the planned shift of focus of the ISS to physiological research would have any impact on the other nations involved. Pryke stated that each nation still has its own utilization rights. Europe and other nations do not have to modify their utilization plans even if the U.S. experiments shift focus. Gabrynowicz also said that there is no legal obstacle, because utilization is considered evolutionary under the ISS agreement. Molly Macaulay also mentioned it is not only the United States that can be considered an unreliable partner. Pryke noted that ESA does not operate on the basis of annual appropriations. Because it can obtain multiyear funding, there is more certainty in what it agrees to do. Smith mentioned that other countries also fail to meet their commitments sometimes. An option is to coordinate programs (e.g., Mars explorers) to limit duplication of effort, rather than jointly building spacecraft, which adds complexity. 7   Ulysses was a joint NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) mission to map the Sun from a polar orbit. The original mission plan included two spacecraft, one provided by NASA, the other by ESA. NASA canceled its spacecraft in 1981. NASA did continue to partner with ESA by providing launch via the space shuttle, several instruments for the ESA spacecraft, and operational assets.