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OCR for page 27
Assessment of Solar System Exploration Programs 1991 (Chapter 8) Assessment of Solar System Exploration Programs 1991 8 International Cooperation in Planetary Exploration Programs COMPLEX strongly endorses the principle of international cooperation on specific planetary missions as a means of enhancing the scientific output and of reducing the cost to each party. Presidential endorsement of this view came in February 1988 with the "Directive on National Space Policy," which stated that "the United States will seek mutually beneficial international participation in its space and space-related programs." In its 1990 Update to the Strategy for Exploration of the Inner Planets (SSB, 1990b), the committee made the following recommendations on international cooperation: Selection of foreign scientists and experiments for U.S. missions should be based strongly on scientific merit, and the free flow of scientific data REPORT MENU and results should be a necessary precondition for any cooperative NOTICE arrangements. MEMBERSHIP FOREWORD SUMMARY NASA should consider all appropriate foreign capabilities available for CHAPTER 1 planning and carrying out its missions and should cultivate those that enhance CHAPTER 2 the scientific return. CHAPTER 3 CHAPTER 4 NASA should fully involve the scientific community in planning for CHAPTER 5 international cooperation and in assessment of proposed cooperative missions. CHAPTER 6 CHAPTER 7 CHAPTER 8 Two other Space Studies Board publications have dealt with CHAPTER 9 collaborations with Western Europe and the USSR, respectively, and some steps REFERENCES have been taken to implement their recommendations. These are discussed below. U.S.-EUROPEAN COOPERATION IN PLANETARY EXPLORATION file:///C|/SSB_old_web/ssep91ch8.htm (1 of 4) [6/18/2004 1:58:43 PM]

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Assessment of Solar System Exploration Programs 1991 (Chapter 8) In 1986 the National Academy Press published United States and Western Europe Cooperation in Planetary Exploration (SSB, 1986d), a report written by the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Cooperation in Planetary Exploration. The group was composed of scientists associated with the SSB and with the Space Science Committee of the European Science Foundation. The JWG concluded that planetary investigations continue to be among the most intellectually challenging and important areas of basic scientific research. They made specific recommendations for missions to be undertaken as cooperative projects and their current status is summarized below. Titan Probe and Saturn Orbiter This project is now an approved joint NASA/European Space Agency (ESA) mission known as Cassini. NASA is to provide a Mariner Mark II spacecraft as the orbiter, while ESA will provide the probe. A joint Announcement of Opportunity attracted over 200 proposals, and a set of investigations were selected in the fall of 1990. The mission is planned for a 1995 launch. Mars Surface Rover This mission may be superseded by tentative plans to proceed directly to a sample return mission, as part of which a rover would be used to survey the surface and gather samples for return to Earth. Meanwhile, ESA has begun an assessment study under the title "Isabella," which seeks to identify detailed European contributions to a U.S. Mars rover/sample return and any corresponding Soviet Mars missions. Areas being targeted by the Europeans include orbiter instrumentation, Mars surface instruments, and an intelligent robot arm for the rover. Multiple Asteroid Orbiter The proposed joint mission is not under study by either prospective partner. Instead, interest has been focused on a Comet Nucleus-Sample Return mission known as "Rosetta." This is now a core element of ESA's Space Science Plan, "Horizon 2000," as a joint mission with NASA. Advance studies of technology and experiments for this mission are being carried out at a low level, but no launch date has yet been set. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION FOR MARS EXPLORATION file:///C|/SSB_old_web/ssep91ch8.htm (2 of 4) [6/18/2004 1:58:43 PM]

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Assessment of Solar System Exploration Programs 1991 (Chapter 8) The SSB ad hoc Committee on Cooperative Mars Exploration and Sample Return recently published International Cooperation for Mars Exploration and Sample Return (SSB, 1990a). Its recommendations included the robotic study of the Martian surface and sample return from several sites, to be undertaken in an international program coordinated with the Soviet Union and involving close cooperation with "traditional" partners in Western Europe. Early progress on a small scale has included the provision on Mars Observer of an antenna for tracking balloons to be delivered by the Soviet Mars- 94 mission, and participation by U.S. and European scientists in Phobos and Mars-94. COMPLEX endorses further examination of Soviet involvement in the Space Exploration Initiative. Additional cooperation with other nations, especially Japan, also deserves serious consideration. As a beginning, coordination between the proposed NASA Lunar Observer and the Japanese Lunar Orbiter missions is under discussion. CONCLUDING REMARKS While strongly advocating international collaboration on large projects, COMPLEX believes that such cooperation should not be entered into lightly. Termination of collaborations before completion not only forfeits all the related benefits, but can also have a chilling effect on future cooperation. The withdrawal by the U.S. from the joint NASA/ESA International Solar Polar Mission and the recent cancellation of the Omega-VIMS instrument for the Soviet Mars-94 mission are examples where substantial damage has been done. It is important, therefore, that future efforts at collaboration be based on stronger commitments. file:///C|/SSB_old_web/ssep91ch8.htm (3 of 4) [6/18/2004 1:58:43 PM]