COSPAR Panel on Exploration (PEX)


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Chair: Ehrenfreund, P. (USA/Netherlands), 2010 - 2014 _Email:

Vice-Chair: McKay, C. (USA), 2010-2014

Intercommission/Panel Liaison:
Scientific Commission B: Foing, B. (ESA/ESTEC), 2008 - 2012
Scientific Commission D: Grande, M. ( UK), 2008 - 2012
Scientific Commission F: Raulin, F. (France), 2008 - 2012
Scientific Commission H: Cruise, A.M. ( UK), 2008 - 2012
Panel on Planetary Protection: Rummel, J. ( USA), 2008 - 2012


Space exploration is a multifaceted endeavor and a “grand challenge” of the 21st century. The political agendas of a growing number of nations highlight space exploration as a goal and frame it as an international cooperative adventure. In response to the growing importance of space exploration, the objectives of the COSPAR Panel on Exploration (PEX) are to provide high quality, independent science input to support the development of a global space exploration program while working to safeguard the scientific assets of solar system bodies.

PEX engages with COSPAR Commissions and Panels, ESF, NSF, and other science foundations, IAA, IAF, UN bodies, and IISL to support in particular national and international space exploration working groups and the new era of planetary exploration. COSPAR's input, as gathered by PEX, will be intended to express the consensus view of the international scientific community and should ultimately provide a series of guidelines to support future space exploration activities and cooperative efforts, leading to outstanding scientific discoveries, opportunities for innovation, strategic partnerships, technology progression, and inspiration for people of all ages and cultures worldwide.

PEX will take specific actions to:

These PEX activities contribute to fostering a global space exploration program that stimulates scientists in current and emerging spacefaring nations as well as developing countries to participate in research aimed at answering outstanding questions about the origins and evolution of our solar system and life on Earth and possibly elsewhere.