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10 International Cooperation Specific issues involving international cooperation are treated in the various task group reports. The steering group endorses these treatments. Here the steering group wishes to deal with some principles common to aD disciplines of space science. Space science Is now an international activity. More than a decade ago, the United States clearly dominated space science. That is no longer the case. The American space science program is still preeminent, measured in terms of missions ready for launch or being prepared. But the present crisis in launch capability has crippled the American program. Measured In terms of the number and quality of missions actuaBy being launched, the Soviet Union is now the leader in space science. The European program, while substantially smaller than the United States and Soviet programs, has grown to major proportions; Japan's program is also substantial. All of these space science programing are carried out by agencies that have access to both earth-orbital and deem space launch vehicles, although not all are equally capable in this respect. With four fully independent space science programs now in existence, it is tune to consider the advantages of expanding joint participation in some scientific projects. Cooperation can talre a variety of forms. The simplest level entails coordinating programs at the planning stages or exchanging 79
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80 data after they have been collected. At a more significant level, sci- ent~sts can participate ~ projects planned and executed by space agencies of other nations. Other cooperative modes include joint investigations involving many spacecraft from different communi- ties. Examples include the International Solar Terrestrial Program (ISTP) and the orbiting very-long-baseline interferometry system for radio astronomy, known as QUASAT. A future venture of this type might be the establishment of an extensive network of ground stations coordinated with orbiting vehicles. The most ambitious level of international cooperation involves joint planning and im- plementation of cooperative projects. In carrying out the scientific programs recommended in this report, the steering group believes that international cooperation, at all the levels listed above, should be considered. From a sci- entific point of view there can be numerous advantages to mter- national cooperation. By coordinating or combining resources- intellectual, technological, and economic scientific advances will proceed faster and more efficiently. While national imperatives other than the advance of science may play a role in motivating international cooperation, it is important that the scientific goals be heldF in a primary position. The impact of international coop- eration on the direction and balance of the national space science program should be carefully considered and evaluated. Several factors should be considered in formulating the varied approaches to international cooperation the nation will require. Among the most important considerations are the past history of cooperation, and the existing level of communication among the potential partners on both scientific and technical matters. Further, the quality and anticipated stability of the political ret lationship between participating nations should be evaluated. It is essential that the structure of cooperative programs should be robust and; resistant to disruption by unanticipated changes in the relationship that may be imposed for reasons that are outside of the scientific programs. It is important to ensure that all sides in any cooperation should obtain reciprocal advantages and should perceive them to be so. Thus, cooperation should be arranged to take advantage of mutually complementary capabilities. Therefore, interIlational cooperation will be most productive if the separate partners have strong independent programs. In these cases cooperative ventures would be seen as a means to enhance these strong independent
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81 programs, and not as an essential strategy for the conduct of space science. Certainly, other forms of cooperation, involving nations that do not have their own means of access to space, should by no means be excluded. On the contrary, they should be encouraged. The advantages of international cooperation are inevitably ac- companied by operational and financial burdens, no matter how cleanly the technical interactions are arranged. The larger the number of partners involved, the larger will be these imposed bur- dens. In general, the complications and burdens of a cooperative program wiB be minimized if there are fewer major partners. Thus the steering group recommends that large cooperative projects be held to only two major partners, at least until a record of suc- cessfu! experience accumulates. However, where cooperation of more than two partners offers advantages, the complications and burdens should be recognized and taken into account. ~ order to implement desirable levels of cooperation, two essential steps should be taken. First, the United States should establish a national policy untie respect to the goats of international cooperation in space science. This policy should be guided by a pri- mary commitment to enhance the scientific returns clef cooperative ventures and should establish guidelines to ensure feasibility, max- imize productivity, and minimize costs of these ventures. Second, it is essential to establish suitable mechanisms for planning and im- plementing the various kinds of cooperative encleavors. The most ambitious approaches to cooperation wiD require unplementation of agreements at the highest national levels.