The European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS)
The European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS) is an initiative established by the European Space Agencies and Space Industries to develop a coherent, single set of standards for use in all European space activities. A first set of standards, organized in three branches (Space Project Management, Engineering and Product Assurance), was developed and released in the 90s, and enhanced in the subsequent years. Having reached a mature development stage, ECSS has recently reassessed its activities, organization and processes to better focus on the implementation and improvement, rather than the development of new standards. The paper will address the objectives of the ECSS standardization system, its use in the contracts for space projects, the measures being taken by ECSS to enhance the suitability of the standards for direct use in contracts and to account for the lessons learned related to the development and use of standards. The paper will also present the ECSS potential to facilitate international cooperation and its relationships with other Standards Developing Organizations (SDO).