although such initiatives may prove to be attractive, they will have to be carefully considered prior to being pursued.
During the concluding session of the workshop, a number of new opportunities and challenges were cited by workshop participants. Several speakers emphasized the opportunity and challenges associated with engaging youth—the so-called “iPod generation”—in the pursuit of space cooperation. This generation, one speaker emphasized, will be charged with carrying on the long-term projects begun in the current era. Several speakers commented on the approach the United States takes to leadership, noting that an opportunity exists for the United States to pursue a new approach. “Space is a non-sovereign, multinational place,” one speaker observed, adding that nations—including the United States—that pursue multinational collaboration should “check their hubris and ego at the door.” Some workshop participants offered comments regarding the challenges ahead. One speaker expressed the view that despite a strong imperative for cooperation, national security considerations must also be kept in mind as civil space collaboration is pursued. This is particularly important to bear in mind when changes to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) regime are proposed and discussed. Other participants recalled that ITAR restrictions remain a significant challenge for those seeking to pursue new international projects. One speaker considered that international cooperation on a scale necessary for the exploration and development of space is a “fantasy” until export controls are fixed and the United States learns to implement truly equal partnerships. This, he added, may require a generational change. Another workshop participant recalled that while cooperation must be pursued, competition also plays an important role in the pursuit of government and commercial space activities. Competition can spur innovation and contribute to excellence in the conduct of space programs. It should not be overlooked. One speaker concluded that with the new and the emerging capabilities in space around the world, and recognize from that the United States cannot do everything, the question space-faring nations should ask is how to seek alignment in their programs so that the projects pursued have the greatest benefit for all. This is one of the major challenges we face, he observed.
In closing the final session, Space Studies Board (SSB) chair Charles Kennel noted that the discussions during the 3-day workshop were both valuable and timely. They provided useful observations that may be of interest to the incoming administration and Congress. The workshop deliberations also have identified several initiatives that the SSB may wish to take in the coming year. One such initiative would be to begin a series of discussions and information exchanges with new and emerging space powers, and to do so in collaboration with colleagues in Europe and Japan. Another step, mentioned by several SSB members, would be to pursue some of the topics identified during this workshop during a follow-up session. Both ideas merit further SSB consideration, Kennel observed.