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.


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.

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