NASA-European space agencies, the case missions studied, and the types of issues explored within the report.
G. Skolnikoff opened the discussion by noting that the U.S.-European report is probably too elaborate to accomplish as a joint U.S.-European-Japanese activity. Instead, he said the groups might work toward a workshop or conference.
A. Nishida presented a chart of ISAS collaborations, calling attention to the fact that most ISAS collaborations are grassroots, scientist-to-scientist activities because these seem to work best. He noted that it is a good time to look back at cooperation in Japanese missions. He also stated that one of the difficulties in cooperative space missions with NASA concerns the memoranda of understanding (MOUs). For example, he signed the MOU for the Japanese Planet-B mission on the eve of the launch. The governments and space agencies on both sides are not well prepared for international cooperation and sometimes try to impose barriers. The issues are political and deep rooted; moreover, the procedures on each side are different.
All sides agreed that a retrospective on Japanese cooperation in space was a good idea. The SRC is to identify a subset of missions for analysis, and all three sides are to identify a subset of people involved in the missions to write about the collaboration according to a template of questions. (The drafting and iterative process could be done largely by e-mail.)
G. Haerendel, president of COSPAR, observed that one never learns from history alone, because the context and experience is never the same as a previous one. He urged the group to look forward, to explore exciting new areas for the future, and to address important aspects of cooperative projects that are about to go wrong and make people aware of potential problems. He noted, for example, that the ESA and NASA cometary programs are disconnected. More important, he urged that the space powers plan together for a major scientific objective of long duration such as a multidecade exploration of the solar system. In addition to small missions, there is a need for science that can be done only on big missions. These issues should be planned in a coordinated program.
All sides agreed that a workshop or symposium should look at the past collaborations with Japan as well as issues for current and future cooperative endeavors. Various participants mentioned key issues affecting the space research environment of the current and future era, including why government should support big missions, and an increasing trend toward commercial investments in space and space applications.
A. Nishida, G. Skolnikoff, and L. Culhane outlined a series of next steps:
Select a subset of Japanese collaborative missions.
Develop a template of questions to analyze the missions.
Request papers on themes for future space cooperation.
Identify who should participate in the workshop or conference—get industry and government to present perspectives.
Consider having two to three meetings for this activity.