United States, Europe, and Japan who had worked on these missions and would share their insights on the cooperative experience. Speakers were asked to focus on the lessons learned from the missions and on aspects of mission success and to elaborate on any problems within the collaboration, as well as on other concerns and issues that might affect future cooperative activities. Speakers were provided with a template of questions to guide them in preparing their remarks (see Appendix C). The speakers at the workshop rated collaborations on all three missions as successes, although there were also lessons learned.



Lessons extracted from the mission surveys were sorted into five general categories:

  1. Personal issues such as trust, openness, language, leadership, cultural differences, sharing of credit within a joint project, and the equality of the relationship;

  2. Legal, political, and institutional issues such as negotiation of memoranda of understanding (MOUs) and cross-waivers of liability, the role of umbrella science and technology agreements, 3 export controls, data management agreements, continuity of resources, up-front planning funds, and differing policy processes;

  3. Organizational patterns including relations among scientists, engineers, and operational personnel; projectinitiation and development; data access and publication norms; initiation of the cooperative activity; and the process for conceiving and developing new collaborative projects;

  4. Scientific interest and technical issues including community interest in the subject; equality or complementarity of capabilities among partners; the eight criteria for successful cooperative missions identified in the U.S.-European report;4 and the payoffs of cooperation (e.g., exposure to different approaches and expanded opportunities); and

  5. Other issues such as privatization; the impact of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) “faster, better, cheaper” philosophy on international cooperation; the effect of differing patterns of in-house versus contract development and NASA centers versus universities; the validity of cost savings from cooperation; and relationships to military activities.

Highlights of the Lessons Learned from Geotail, Yohkoh, and ASCA
Personal Issues

Language and cultural barriers among mission scientists were cited frequently as a challenge in cooperating on the Geotail, Yohkoh, and ASCA missions (see Appendix E, Culhane, Section 2.1). Some workshop participants noted that communication, at times, was more difficult when involving scientists and engineers together. However, the challenge of maintaining clear communication between scientists and engineers is not unique to international


The Department of State negotiates bilateral framework or umbrella agreements on science and technology with foreign governments. These agreements are formulated to be consistent with U.S. foreign policy objectives. (See U.S. General Accounting Office, Information on International Science and Technology Agreements, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., April 1999.)


U.S.-European Collaboration in Space Science, pp. 102-104.

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