The 14 space programs hope to make space exploration a global endeavor

Fourteen international space agencies have agreed to work together and coordinate future space missions.  The world's top space agencies, including NASA, China, the European Space Agency and Russia, will work together on certain future missions, including Mars.  The document also will help identify gaps in space organization and duplication of similar missions among participating parties.  

The groups released "The Global Exploration Strategy: The Framework for Coordination," a 25-page document which highlights "a shared vision of space exploration focused on solar system destinations where humans may someday live and work." The non-binding framework should help different nations exchange ideas and mission plans.

The completely voluntary framework allows space organizations to participate in joint missions, along with distributing scientific data amongst those participating in the program.

Other organizations involved include the following the nations:  Japan, Italy, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, India, South Korea, Ukraine, and Australia.

The next meeting is scheduled to take place in Berlin, Germany in December.  To view the framework document, click here (PDF) file.

Multiple space agencies have high hopes for planned missions to the moon and Mars. Even though NASA admitted China is more likely to return to the moon before NASA, creating long-term lunar bases is still possible.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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