Numerous examples of international cooperation among well-established spacefaring states have emerged over the last several decades. Although the prime example may be the International Space Station, other missions are similarly worthy of mention: Cassini-Huygens, Chandrayan 1, Hayabusa, and literally every mission launched by the European Space Agency. As a result of such cooperation our knowledge of our solar system, including our home planet, has been increased dramatically by missions whose success exceeded the capacity of single states, even large and wealthy ones, to organize and fund alone.
Less attention has been paid to the role that cooperation within and between national states has played in helping boost countries with less space experience into a position where they could benefit economically from participation in space activity and also contribute materially to the success of space missions. Among such national states several patterns of cooperation are evident.
First, there is the case of economically well-developed countries that have consciously adopted a policy of niche specialization designed to facilitate inclusion of strong national competencies into space missions organized by more powerful spacefaring countries.Second, there is the situation of emerging space states that have benefited from the express policy of spacefaring countries to encourage their development as participants in the space sector. Third, and often related to one or both of the above cases, there is the pattern of national pursuit of space participation as part of an overt strategy of national economic development and capacity building. Fourth, there is the example of sub-national efforts at regional economic development that specifically emphasize space activity as a means for enhancing the diversity of the local economy and enhancing the market for high technology products and services.
Lastly, there may be another pattern emerging, as private entities collaborate to bring order to potentially chaotic situations where political authorities have failed to act either by design or neglect.
Read more: Broadening the Base Simpson
|This paper was first published as part of Space Commerce, The Inside Story, published by the Aerospace Technology Working Group (ATWG) and included on this site through the courtesy of ATWG, ISU and the individual authors.
Other extracts from this publication can be found here.