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How the space consortium can be affected by international politics

How the space consortium can be affected by international politics

Many of the most amazing scientific discoveries in history would not have been possible without the most important space consortium; The partnership between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA)). Both organizations have been working side by side for years in the development of instruments capable of helping us to better understand the universe; also in the organization and launch of different space missions and, of course, in the study of joint discoveries.

Although there are also other collaborating agencies that have helped in many space projects, NASA and ESA, have been signing joint agreements for a large number of missions for years. Some of these are already working, while others will do so in the future. This space consortium has also benefited from international politics, since have received support and help from many other countries who have also wanted to be part of the discoveries of our universe, some of them even within the European Union itself, such as Spain.

One of the great examples of joint collaboration is the ISS or International Space Station. Also the James Webb or even the mission that will allow an unmanned ship to be sent beyond the moon.

The International Space Station is the perfect example of how the space consortium can be affected by international politics

The International Space Station (ISS) is one of the greatest examples of the space consortium, and more specifically, of the collaboration between NASA and ESA. However, the ISS also works through partnerships with other organizations from countries such as Russia, with Roscosmos; Canada, with the CSA and Japan, with the JAXA. Within these five space programs a total of 15 countries are involved. The majority, belonging to the European Union and, therefore, associated with the ESA.

The United States, and therefore, NASA, is one of the main agencies involved, since It is the one that started the project in 1984. It was in charge of managing, through an American company, the creation of the structure and some of the most important modules, such as the oxygen tanks. NASA also provides the Destiny laboratory, located on the space station itself and whose objective is to help American astronauts in research tasks.

The ESA is another of the main agencies involved. Like NASA, is the owner of one of the different laboratories built on the ISS; the columbus, which is developed by countries like Italy and Germany. Another important component of the space station made possible by ESA is Europe’s robotic arm. This instrument, in particular, allows you to attach and replace solar panels at the station. It is therefore very useful for astronauts who carry out spacewalks. Spain, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands have also collaborated in the development of some components in the International Space Station.

The James Webb: Another Great Example

The James Webb, the gigantic telescope valued at more than 10,000 million dollars and which was launched by NASA on December 25, is also the result of the space consortium that exists, above all, between the European and American space agencies. In fact, the launch of this space observer was made possible thanks to ESA and Ariane 5, the European rocket designed to put satellites into orbit. The European Space Agency has also been involved in the development of some components of the telescope itself. Among them, the Spectrograph, named NIRSpec. This instrument is responsible for detecting starlight and scattering it in order to analyze its physical properties. Among them, the temperature, the commission, etc.

The development of the James Webb has also involved the Canadian Space Agency (CSA, for its acronym in English), an organization that also collaborates closely with NASA and ESA.

The future of the space consortium is promising

NASA and ESA still have a long collaboration ahead of them with truly spectacular missions, such as Artemis 1; the first unmanned mission that will send the Orion spacecraft, designed jointly by both space administrations, beyond the moon, and then bring it back to earth.

One of the main components of Orion is the so called european service module (ESM). This is in charge of not only propelling the spacecraft, but also allowing it to maneuver and even being able to regulate thermal control or provide water and oxygen to the crew.

The Orion spacecraft will be launched together with the SLS o Space launch system that aims to bring humans back to the Moon. This, of course, will not be the last mission of the space consortium.