sciences, Earth sciences from space, and life and microgravity sciences and to determine what lessons could be learned regarding international agreements, mission planning, schedules, costs, and scientific contribution. Although the charge is largely retrospective and relies on existing or past missions, the joint committee found that in some cases, missions in the development stage offered the best (or only) examples that met the study criteria. The joint committee also determined that though a retrospective study was requested, lessons learned from the analyses must be considered within a prospective context to be relevant to future cooperative activities.


The joint committee agreed on a set of selected missions in the space science disciplines to be used as case studies in this report (Table ES.1). Both National Aeronautics and Space Administration–European Space Agency (NASA-ESA) endeavors and missions conducted between NASA and national space agencies in Europe have been included. In addition, the selection includes both smaller-scale missions managed by principal investigators (PIs) and larger missions managed at the agency level.

Each mission was briefly characterized, with special emphasis on the particular problems and benefits posed by its international makeup. The joint committee analyzed the history leading up to the mission, the nature of the cooperation, and the benefits or failures that accrued from conducting the cooperation. The following questions helped guide the joint committee's survey of the missions:

  1. What were the scope and nature of the agreement? How did the agreement evolve, and how was it finalized? How long did it take to plan the mission?
  2. How was the cooperation initiated (e.g., by scientist-to-scientist or agency-to-agency contact)? What was the role of each partner and agency? Were the motivations the same for all partners?
  3. What were the expected benefits each partner offered?
  4. What were the extent and practical mechanisms of cooperation? At what level, if any, did hardware integration of multinational components take place? How were communications maintained? Was the project structured to minimize friction between international partners?
  5. What was the net impact of internationalization on the mission in terms of costs, schedule, and science output?
  6. What external influences affected the mission during its life cycle? What were their effects? Were problems caused by different internal priorities or by external (e.g., political, financial) boundary conditions (such as budget cycles)?
  7. TABLE ES.1 Missions Used as Case Studies in This Report, Selected by Discipline


    NASA-ESA Case Studies

    NASA-European National Space Agencies Case Studies




    Planetary sciences

    Cassini-Huygens, GMM


    Space physics

    ISPM [Ulysses], ISEE


    Earth sciences

    EOS–Polar platforms


    Microgravity research and life sciences

    IML-1, 2

    IML-1, 2

    NOTE: AMPTE = Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorer; EOS = Earth Observing System; GMM = Generic Mars Mission; HST = Hubble Space Telescope; IML = International Microgravity Laboratory; INTEGRAL = International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory; ISEE = International Sun-Earth Explorer; ISPM = International Solar Polar Mission [renamed Ulysses]; ROSAT = Roentgen Satellite; TOPEX = (Ocean) Topography Experiment; UARS = Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite.

    a The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is used by both astrophysicists and space physicists. Its mission addresses both disciplines. For the purpose of this study, SOHO was analyzed as an astrophysics mission.

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