Portuguese Space Agency becomes a member of the International Space Exploration Coordination Group
Portugal Space is one of the newest members of ISECG, an international forum that aims at promoting a Global Exploration Strategy through coordination of the members’ mutual efforts in space exploration.
The Portuguese Space Agency was accepted as a member of the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) at the end of 2020, thus becoming part of a select group of space agencies working together to uphold and strengthen their individual exploration programmes in a collective effort. ISECG, composed by 26 Space agencies, is also a working group where countries exchange information concerning interests, plans and activities in Space exploration.
“As the Space Agency of Portugal, the first contributor to the outset of globalisation, Portugal Space is proud of being accepted as a member of ISECG”, states Ricardo Conde, president of the Portuguese Space Agency, stressing that Portugal Space “sees this membership as a great opportunity to deepen its commitment in the field of Space Exploration, not only as a way to strengthen acquired competencies, but also to promote international scientific cooperation”.
The Portuguese participation in ISECG is in line with the national strategy “Portugal Space 2030” and enlarges the collaboration of the national Space scientific community and private sector with international partners, enabling advances in the understanding of the universe and creating new opportunities for innovation, economic growth, and inspiration.
Christian Lange, Space Exploration Strategic Planning at the Canadian Space Agency, which currently chairs the ISECG, welcomed Portugal Space, which became a member of the ISECG at the same time as AEM, the Mexican Space Agency to the organization. “ISECG has continued to grow substantially over the past three years. Space agencies consider the work of ISECG useful, not at least in supporting their own priorities. We look forward to working with our new colleagues”, said Christian Lange. To the chair of the ISECG, “the accession of several new organisations demonstrates the willingness of agencies to engage in focused international strategic exchange and coordination, and to build new strategic partnerships for advancing the implementation of the Global Exploration Strategy.”
Portugal can be a strong contributor to space exploration thanks to the great research groups existing in the country and the industry with proven capabilities in software and robotic domains. It can also benefit immensely from space exploration, and should grasp opportunities to strengthen acquired competencies and promote international scientific cooperation, which is to be complemented with the strengthening of the scientific “mining” of exploration activities.
“By joining ISECG, Portugal Space becomes part of a forum of discussion for participants to promote the interest and engagement in space exploration activities in a way that is open, inclusive, flexible, evolutionary, effective, and based on mutual interest”, reinforces Manuel Wilhelm, project manager at the Portuguese Space Agency.