[FPSPACE] criteria for international partnerships in space

Keith Gottschalk kgottschalk at uwc.ac.za
Sat Apr 4 14:39:48 EDT 2015


JimO & other friends raise an interesting thought: if international partnerships in space raise the cost for each participating country, compared to go  ing it alone, what are the rational criteria for STILL choosing one or more space partners?  Taking the USG, as the state of the majority of Fpspacer members, as an example:

1)  Foreign policy choices which are exogenous to spaceflight. Examples: The State Dept & White House wish to defuse tensions with an enemy or ex-enemy though the ISS. Example, the ex-USSR Russian Federation. Another example: to build multi-dimensional relationships with NATO allies such as the UK. Another example - to draw closer a nonaligned country, such as Brazil. India could be a future such case.

2) The more expensive option still saves money. Example - NASA costs rise for the US component of the ISS, versus the cost for specifically that component in a hypothetical all-US space station. But because the USG is not funding the entire ISS, it saves funds overall. This line of reasoning also applies to Ariane & other ESA projects.

3) The USG & a partner are jointly developing some space technology capability that they want to acquire for dual use somewhere else. Almost always, this is some military use, but it is conceivable that it could be, for eg., civil IT.

4) The USG wishes to build a relationship with a foreign partner through a space project, where their contribution is optional, because it will need that foreign partner for a future much more expensive project, eg. a RLV, or "back to the Moon, this time to stay" where their contribution will be essential.

   These four examples seem solid: can anyone think of other examples with a rational case for multilateral space partnerships.

- Keith

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