The Human Exploration and Operations Division (HEOD) manages international relations for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, providing policy guidance and program support for human exploration capabilities, systems development and operations of the International Space Station (ISS) program, space communications and navigation, launch services, human spaceflight, space life and physical sciences research, commercial spaceflight and crew issues. HEOD also supports the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance and the Chief Health and Medical Officer on international safety and health and medical matters.
HEOD support includes providing policy guidance and recommendations on international issues and relationships with current and prospective foreign partners, drafting and negotiating international agreements for new space cooperation, and supporting ongoing interaction with international partners for existing cooperative missions. The ISS program, for example, is a partnership of numerous space faring nations under the leadership of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)/Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and the Russian Federal Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS) and requires significant international coordination of policy and program matters.
Currently, a key international partner for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate is Russia. HEOD has the lead role for NASA relations with Russia, THE Ukraine, and other states of the former Soviet Union. This role requires significant policy guidance and close coordination with the Department of State and other Federal agencies, as well as close contact with the Russian Federal Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS) and NASA personnel stationed in Russia.
As part of its support of the ISS program, HEOD serves as the executive secretariat for the International Space Station Multilateral Coordination Board, chaired by the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations; HEOD is also the executive secretariat for the NASA International Space Station Advisory Committee, which works as a joint commission with the Russian Federal Space Agency Advisory Expert Council.
International relations will remain a key element of NASA’s ongoing and future initiatives, including transitioning from the Space Shuttle to a new generation of crew and cargo space vehicles while continuing to fly the International Space Station, and embarking on a new era of space exploration to send humans deeper into space than ever before. HEOD will continue to provide support and guidance to further the objectives of NASA and the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.
For further information, please contact Albert D. Sofge (firstname.lastname@example.org), Director of the Human Exploration and Operations Division.
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