International Сollaborations on Space Exploration
Since the beginning of time, exploring the universe has been a dream of humankind. Human curiosity has fuelled interest in exploring and discovering new worlds, pushing the boundaries of the known, and expanding scientific and technical knowledge.
States and space agencies have been engaging in space exploration since the first space launch. The first space launch led to the first human space flight, which led to the first moonwalk. Nowadays focus has shifted to joint human and robotic missions, near-Earth asteroids, Mars, and destinations beyond our own solar system.
Current trends suggest that significant advantages may be found in areas such as new materials, health and medicine, transportation, and computer technology.
Space exploration and the innovation it entails are essential drivers for opening up new domains in space science and technology. They trigger new partnerships and develop capabilities that create new opportunities for addressing global challenges. Space exploration also motivates young people to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (the STEM disciplines).
The United Nations General Assembly established a Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (95 countries were members of the committee in 2020). In 1967 the committee has provided Outer Space Treaty, which sets forth the general legal principles governing the uses of space.
At the initiative of the United States, an International Telecommunications Satellite Consortium (Intelsat) was founded to develop and operate a global system of communications satellites. By 1969 the organization had established a system of satellites with global coverage. In the late 1980s it provided services to more than 200 countries and territories. In 1999 the decision was made to change the ownership of the organization from national governments to the private sector (membership grew to 144 countries).
International Maritime Satellite Organization (Inmarsat), was established as an intergovernmental organization to supply maritime and other mobile communications services via satellite; it also was later transformed into a privately owned entity.