WASHINGTON — Leaders of several national space agencies endorsed continued cooperation in space exploration, including missions to the moon, and said that effort should not come into conflict with separate work to address climate change.
Speaking at a panel of agency leaders during the 70th International Astronautical Congress here Oct. 21, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said he expected more countries to join the agency’s return to the moon after commitments made earlier this year by Canada and last week by Japan.
“We need international partners. We can all do more when we work together,” he said during a session that included representatives from Canada, Europe, India, Japan and Russia.
The European Space Agency is likely the next agency to make a decision on cooperation, at its next ministerial meeting in Spain in late November. Those decisions, ESA Director General Jan Woerner said, will include producing additional service modules for the Orion spacecraft and providing modules for the lunar Gateway.
Russia is also weighing its role in NASA’s lunar programs, including the lunar Gateway. “We are planning to participate in the Gateway, but we don’t have a final decision how,” said Sergey Krikalev, executive director for piloted spaceflight at Roscosmos. “International ...