In 2006, a group of 14 international space agencies began a series of discussions on global interests in space exploration. Together they took the visionary step of elaborating a plan for peaceful robotic and human space exploration, focusing on destinations within the solar system where humans may one day live and work. They developed a common set of key space exploration themes.
This vision was articulated in The Global Exploration Strategy released a year later in 2007. This Framework did not propose a single global programme, rather, it recommended a voluntary, non-binding forum which formed in November 2007. From that moment the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) was born. Initially formed for 5 years, so successful was the forum, that ISECG was extended for a further 10 years in 2012 to 2022.
Over 15 years, ISCEG has grown to 27 international space agencies composed of AEB (Brazil), AEM (Mexico), ASA and CSIRO (Australia), ASI (Italy), CNES (France), CNSA (China), CSA (Canada), DLR (Germany), ESA (European Space Agency), GISTDA (Thailand), ISRO (India), JAXA (Japan), KARI (Republic of Korea), LSA (Luxembourg), NASA (United States of America), NOSA (Norway), NZSA (New Zealand), POLSA (Poland), PT Space (Portugal), ROSA (Romania), Roscosmos (Russia), SSAU (Ukraine), SSO (Switzerland), UAE Space Agency (United Arab Emirates), UK Space Agency (United Kingdom) and VNSC (Vietnam).
ISECG has supported science and technology efforts through which nations can collaborate to strengthen both individual projects and the collective effort to extend human presence beyond Earth’s orbit, physically and culturally. Through its seven working groups, ISECG has contributed to seminal documents such as:
- The Global Exploration Roadmap 3rd Edition and Supplements
- Broad Public Engagement in Future Lunar Exploration
- Scientific Opportunities enabled by Human Exploration beyond Low Earth Orbit.
- Benefits stemming from Space Exploration
ISECG continues to provide a forum to discuss interests, objectives and plans in space exploration, to support promotion of interests and engagement in space exploration activities throughout society.
The work of ISECG examines new knowledge in science and technology, to building a sustained human presence in space by extending a global partnership, human frontiers, economic expansion, inspiration and education, all of which have informed partner agency decision making over ISECGS 15 year history.
Now celebrating its 15th birthday, ISECG’s continuing vigour, arrives at a critical time as humans enter a new era of historic significance, in returning to the Moon and Mars.