Private sector and public sector involvement is critical as well. Government can provide regulations and rule sets for the economy, but the ability to develop and build large-scale hardware and software is the business of the private sector around the world. Exclusion of private-sector ingenuity and entrepreneurial expertise from the future of space enterprises would be a big mistake.

The ability to build effective partnerships across organizational boundaries can lead to synergistic solutions to some of the most challenging problems.


Based on the above review I would emphasize and restate my opening premise as follows: There are enormous opportunities for collaboration on the horizon today, both nationally and internationally. Rising costs, economic priorities, technological and scientific needs, and expanding benefits combine to make collaboration both appealing and necessary. In particular with regard to Earth observing, we must continue to demonstrate that we can work together at the science and technology level as well as the governing political level. We must raise public understanding of the need for investment in space applications to improve the economy in an increasingly globalized system and to build a cooperative international framework for a sustainable future. I do believe that these same tenets apply to space exploration.

To that end, I will close by offering four principles that I believe underpin successful collaborations both nationally and internationally:

  • The objective of the collaboration should be clearly relevant to high-priority economic and social needs;

  • All parties must work together to create a unified and much larger public voice in support of the mission;

  • There must be coherent, realistic planning for the continuity of successful research results to continuous future operations; and

  • Success is much more likely when the project is supported by high-level (ministerial) involvement!

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