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United States Space Activities Announcement of Administration Review.

June 20, 1978

The President directed under a Presidential review memorandum that the NSC Policy Review Committee (PRC) thoroughly review existing policy and formulate overall principles which should guide our space activities. The major concerns that prompted this review arose from growing interaction among our various space activities.

This review examined and the resultant Presidential directive establishes: —A Government policy oversight system to review and revise space policy as needed;

—Ground rules for the balance and interaction among our space programs to ensure achievement of the interrelated national security, economic:, political, and arms limitation goals of the United States; and

—Modifications to existing policies, the appropriate extent of the overlapping technology, and product dissemination by the sectors.

This Presidential directive establishes an NSC Policy Review Committee to provide a forum to all Federal agencies for their policy views, to advise on proposed changes to national space policy, to resolve issues referred to the Committee, and to provide for rapid referral of issues to the President for decision as necessary. This Committee will be chaired by the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Frank Press. Recognizing that the civilian space program is at the threshold of change, the President has asked the PRC to assess the needs and aspirations of the Nation's civil space program. The United States has built a broad national base in space and aeronautics. At issue is how best to capitalize on prior investments and set the needed direction and purpose for continued vitality in the future.

Under the Presidential review memorandum the emphasis was to resolve potential conflicts among the various space program sectors and to recommend coherent space principles and national space policy. In focusing upon these issues, the Policy Review Committee concluded that our current direction set forth in the Space Act of 1958 is well founded and that the preponderance of existing problems was related to interactions and resultant stresses among the various space programs. For this reason, the classified portion of the recently signed Presidential directive concentrates on overlap questions. It does not deal in detail with the long-term objectives of our defense, commercial, and civil programs. Determining our civil space policy, outlined above, will be the next step.

As a result of this in-depth review, the President's directive establishes national policies to guide the conduct of United States activities in and related to space programs. The objectives are (1) to advance the interests of the United States through the exploration and use of space and (2) to cooperate with other nations in maintaining the freedom of space for all activities which enhance the security and welfare of mankind. The space principles set forth in this directive are:

—The United States will pursue space activities to increase scientific knowledge, develop useful commercial and Government applications of space technology, and maintain United States leadership in space technology.

—The United States is committed to the principles of the exploration and use of outer space by all nations for peaceful purposes and for the benefit of all mankind.

—The United States is committed to the exploration and use of .outer space in support of its national well-being.

—The United States rejects any claims to sovereignty over outer space or over celestial bodies, or any portion thereof, and rejects any limitations on the fundamental right to acquire data from space.

—The United States holds that the space systems of any nation are national property and have the right of passage through and operations in space without interference. Purposeful interference with space systems shall be viewed as an infringement upon sovereign rights.

—The United States will pursue activities in space in support of its right of self-defense and thereby strengthen national security, the deterrence of attack, and arms control agreements.

—The United States will conduct international cooperative space activities that are beneficial to the United States scientifically, politically, economically, and for militarily.

—The United States will develop and operate on a global basis active and passive remote sensing operations in support of national objectives.

—The United States will maintain current responsibility and management relationships among the various space programs, and, as such, close coordination and information exchange will be maintained among the space sectors to avoid unnecessary duplication and to allow maximum cross-utilization of all capabilities.

Our civil space programs will be conducted to increase the body of scientific knowledge about the Earth and the universe; to develop and operate civil applications of space technology; to maintain United States leadership in space science, applications, and technology; and to further United States domestic and foreign policy objectives within the following guidelines:

—The United States will encourage domestic commercial exploitation of space capabilities and systems for economic benefit and to promote the technological position of the United States; however, all United States Earth-oriented remote sensing satellites will require United States Government authorization and supervision or regulation.

—Advances in Earth imaging from space will be permitted under controls and when such needs are justified and assessed in relation to civil benefits, national security, and foreign policy. Controls, as appropriate, on other forms of remote Earth sensing will be established.

—Data and results from the civil space programs will be provided the widest practical dissemination to improve the condition of human beings on Earth and to provide improved space services for the United States and other nations of the world.

—The United States will develop, manage, and operate a fully operational Space Transportation System (STS) through NASA, in cooperation with the Department of Defense. The STS will service all authorized space users—domestic and foreign, commercial and governmental-and will provide launch priority and necessary security to national security missions while recognizing the essentially open character of the civil space program.

Our national security related space programs will conduct those activities in space which are necessary to our support of such functions as command and control, communications, navigation, environmental monitoring, warning and surveillance, and space defense, as well as to support the formulation and execution of national policies; and to support the planning for and conduct of military operations. These programs will be conducted within the following guidelines:

—Security, including dissemination of data, shall 'be conducted in accordance with Executive orders and applicable directives for protection of national security information. Space-related products and technology shall be afforded lower or no classification where possible to permit wider use of our total national space capability.

—The Secretary of Defense will establish a program for identifying and integrating, as appropriate, civil and commercial resources into military operations during national emergencies declared by the President.

—Survivability of space systems will be pursued commensurate with the planned need in crisis and war and the availability of other assets to perform-the mission. Identified deficiencies will be eliminated, and an aggressive, long-term program will be applied to provide more assured survivability through evolutionary changes to space systems.

—The United States finds itself under increasing pressure to field an antisatellite capability of its own in response to Soviet activities in this area. By exercising mutual restraint, the United States and the Soviet union have an opportunity at this early juncture to stop an unhealthy arms competition in space before the competition develops a momentum of its own. The two countries have commenced bilateral discussions on limiting certain activities directed against space objects, which we anticipate will be consistent with the overall U.S. goal of maintaining any nation's right of passage through and operations in space without interference.

—While the United States seeks verifiable, comprehensive limits on antisatellite capabilities and use, in the absence of such an agreement, the United States will vigorously pursue development of its own capabilities. The U.S. space defense program shall include an integrated attack warning, notification, verification, and contingency reaction capability which can effectively detect and react to threats to U.S. space systems.

Jimmy Carter, United States Space Activities Announcement of Administration Review. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/248806

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