18 March 2007: Fourteen space agencies around the world have agreed to coordinate their space exploration efforts, paving the way for truly planet-wide collaboration in space science.
The meeting last week was the first since the group of fourteen first met at a NASA hosted gathering in April last year and formed the informal Global Explorations Strategy (GES) team. This year, they met in Kyoto to discuss a draft Framework for Collaboration, which will set out how the various agencies will work together.
The team has agreed that its main focus should be robotic exploration of the solar system, particularly of the moon, Mars and the near-Earth asteroids. It has also proposed a non-binding collaboration mechanism which would allow all agencies to share their plans, and look for opportunities to work together. This would also provide a route for agencies to share the data from their own missions with scientists from other agencies.
The agencies involved are from Italy, Japan, China, Britain, France, America, India, Korea, Ukraine, Russia, Canada, Germany, Australia and ESA, the European Space Agency.