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INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN SPACE LIFE SCIENCES 130 7 International Cooperation in Space Life Sciences When Congress established NASA in 1958 by enacting the National Aeronautics and Space Act, it provided that space activities should be conducted so as to contribute to cooperation by the United States with other nations. Since then, the United States has signed more than 1000 agreements with more than 100 nations for cooperative space activities. Drawing on the expertise and talents of other nations has often yielded better dividends for each participantâgreater rewards than if each nation had undertaken the same project individually. There are also other subtle advantages. Cooperation and coordination prevent diversion of valuable resources in needless duplication of efforts. Nations that might otherwise have found themselves competitors have worked together, toward common objectives. The task group feels that these advantages outweigh the obvious problems of integrating and coordinating different languages, procedures, and perspectives. NASA's international programs fall into two major categories: cooperative projects and reimbursable services. The cooperative activities range from flight of foreign-built spacecraft to ground-based study and analysis of data. Also included are contributions of experiments on payloads to be flown by NASA, joint projects to develop flight hardware, analysis of data provided by NASA
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN SPACE LIFE SCIENCES 131 Shuttle flights and satellites, training, scientific visits, and joint publication of scientific results. NASA also provides services for which the user country pays; these range from space launch services for which the user country pays; these range from space launch services to data and tracking services. NASA's international cooperative effort contributes to the U.S. aeronautical and space research program and broadens national objectives by: â¢ Delivering cost-sharing benefits and complementary space programs. â¢ Stimulating scientific and technical contributions from abroad. â¢ Enlarging the potential for the development of state-of-the-art technology and theory. â¢ Extending ties among scientific and national communities. â¢ Supporting U.S. foreign relations and foreign policy. â¢ Minimizing duplication of effort. International cooperation is reciprocal in that U.S. scientists are also able to fly on foreign spacecraft, as has been the case in the past with American life scientists using Soviet-Cosmos spacecraft. The life sciences have been prominently featured in international programs, probably more so than any other space science discipline. The following is a list of international life sciences agreements in force or pending. 1. ONGOING AGREEMENTS AND MEMORANDA OF UNDERSTANDING (MOU) a. CNES (French) / NASA. Life Sciences Working Group meets twice per year (senior managers) to discuss joint special collaborative programs, experiments, and / or hardware. b. U.S.S.R. / NASA. Cosmos flight experiment series. c. DFVLR (German) / NASA. Same as item a above. d. Canada / NASA (MOU). Relates to space adaptation syndrome and depth perception experiments and flight of Canadian payload specialists. e. U.K. / NASA. Joint experiments to fly on the International Microgravity Lab (IML) on Spacelab. f. Australia / NASA. Same as above. Scheduled to fly on SLS-2.
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN SPACE LIFE SCIENCES 132 g. Switzerland / NASA. Same as above. Scheduled to fly on SLS-2. h. ESA / NASA. Joint experiments to fly on IML-1; life sciences and materials processing. i. DFVLR, ESA / NASA. NASA life sciences experiments on the German D-1 mission. j. DFVLR, ESA / NASA. NASA life sciences experiments sharing German/ESA experiment hardware on German D-2 mission. k. NASDA (Japan) / NASA. Spacelab-J (1/88). Japanese use of NASA life sciences hardware, with some NASA life sciences on board. l. NASDA (Japan) / NASA. Life Sciences Working Group to discuss joint collaborative programs. 2. AGREEMENTS PENDING m. India / NASA. To fly an Indian payload specialist to conduct Indian life sciences experiments in 1986. n. Israel / NASA. To fly Hornet Experiment. 3. AGREEMENTS FINISHED o. Hungary / NASA. Radiation experiment: Shuttle, 1985. p. France / NASA. French payload specialist; 1985. q. Italy / NASA. Otolith experiment; early 1970s. With the advent of the Space Station, with its enormous complexity and expense, international cooperation on a large scale seems advantageous and, indeed, necessary. The management of such a complex system with many users from many nations, all with vested financial as well as scientific interests, presents a significant challenge. International information exchange is needed on what the Space Station is to be and how it can be used. Data on experimental results will need to be exchanged. Experimental priorities, methods, and standards must be established on an international scale, as well as the distribution and use of crew time in orbit. Scientific objectives must be reviewed and priorities set for the use of space, power, time, and common or standard equipment. There is a need for international bodies to oversee and coordinate such an effort if the massive projects now envisioned are to become reality. Examples of such bodies include space agency committees,
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN SPACE LIFE SCIENCES 133 national academy committees, international committees, independent internal institutes, and existing international organizations (e.g., COSPAR).