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Overview of International Space Exploration

The 2nd International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF2) was head in Mar. 2018 in Tokyo, with the participation from 45 countries and districts. At the ISEF2, as the Tokyo principles and Joint Statement were adopted, significant progress was made for the realization of the international space exploration. In parallel, the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) published the 3rd edition of the Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) in Jan. 2018. Also, NASA announced a plan for the lunar orbiting Gateway. Thus, major progress in the technical study for the international space exploration is also being made in recent days. In the 3rd edition of the GER, a comprehensive mission scenario from 2020's to early 2030's including the Gateway and human lunar surface mission is introduced. On the other hand, the Mars scenario only includes a series of robotic missions which are for technology demonstration, environment and resource investigation, and the human Mars mission is considered beyond early 2030's. Meanwhile, it is critical to get political and budgetary support from the government to promote the human space exploration because it requires huge amount of funds. However, it is difficult to coordinate the space policy and budgetary situation among the participating countries in a timely manner due to the variance of the political and budgetary situation in each country. Furthermore, because the countries participating in the International Space Station (ISS) have been annually spending significant budget to the ISS, there is a very high hurdle to initiate another big human space program while the ISS continues to be operated. To overcome such a high hurdle, ISS participating countries are working hard to decrease the operational cost of the ISS, as well as to cooperate with science communities, and new/ experienced industries. This lecture delivers the comprehensive status of the technical study and coordination for the international space exploration among the space agencies and governments as well as related issues to be coordinated.

Mr. Naoki Sato graduated Aeronautics Engineering Department, Kyusyu University in 1986, and gained master degree of applied engineering of Kyusyu University in 1988. At the same year, he entered in National Space Development Agency of Japan (predecessor of JAXA). Since 1990, he had been involved in the International Space Station program for about 16 years. After that, he started to work for the international space exploration program formulation up to now. He is the current ISECG chair since Apr. 2018. Also, he was assigned as the director of the Space Exploration System Technology Unit of JAXA Space Exploration Center (JSEC) in July 2018.

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