On 30th November and 2nd December 2021, senior managers representing 24 space agencies met virtually for a meeting of the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG). The purpose was the promotion of coordinated efforts in space exploration of the Moon and Mars as per the Global Exploration Strategy.
Senior managers highlighted the benefits and value of international cooperation and coordination to better advance each agency’s aspirations. A major element of the meeting was to reflect upon the outputs of ISECG and the contributions made by its member Agencies to identify technology gaps, exploration architectures, and forward planning.
The agencies agreed to further increase the ISECG membership, in particular reaching out to emerging space countries. Senior agency managers took the opportunity to warmly welcome new members from space agencies from Mexico (AEM), Portugal (PTS), and New Zealand (NZSA), bringing ISECG total membership to 27 agencies. Fostering diversity of the forum and extending support, further broadens the opportunities for coordination and offers new ways of working together.
This virtual meeting included representatives from the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), Mexican Space Agency (AEM), Australian Space Agency (ASA)/Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation(CSIRO), Italian Space Agency (ASI), French Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), China National Space Administration (CNSA), Canadian Space Agency (CSA), German Aerospace Center (DLR), European Space Agency (ESA), Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA, Thailand), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA), US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Norwegian Space Agency (NOSA), New Zealand Space Agency (NZSA), Polish Space Agency (POLSA), Portuguese Space Agency (PTS), Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), Russian State Space Cooperation (Roscosmos), Swiss Space Office (SSO), United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAE SA) and UK Space Agency (UKSA).
The senior agency managers remarked on the great interest in lunar exploration expressed by ISECG members across the globe reflecting high expectations for the inspiration provided by the upcoming missions as well as the new achievements in science and exploration just around the corner.