Space Law TOP
Contents Intoroduction Preliminaries Chapter 1 Chapter 2
Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Appendix Index

(2) U.S. CIVIL SPACE POLICY (The White House--October 11, 1978)

The President announced today a space policy that will set the direction of U.S. efforts in space over the next decade. The policy is the result of a 4-month interagency review requested by the President in June 1978. American civil space policy will be centered around three tenets:

First.—Our space policy will reflect a balanced strategy of applications, science and technology development containing essential key elements that will:

Emphasize space applications that will bring important benefits to our understanding of Earth resources, climate, weather, pollution and agriculture, and provide for the private sector to take an increasing responsibility in remote sensing and other applications.

Emphasize space science and exploration in a manner that retains the challenge and excitement and permits the Nation to retain the vitality of its space technology base, yet provides short-term flexibility to impose fiscal constraints when conditions warrant.

Take advantage of the flexibility of the Space Shuttle to reduce the cost of operating in space over the next two decades to meet national needs.

Increase benefits for resources expended through better integration and technology transfer among the national space programs and through more joint projects when appropriate, thereby increasing the return on the $100 billion investment in space to the benefit of the American people.

Assure American scientific and technological leadership in space for the security and welfare of the Nation and continue R. & D. necessary to provide the basis for later programmatic decisions.

Demonstrate advanced technological capabilities in open and imaginative ways having benefit for developing as well as developed countries.

Foster space cooperation with nations by conducting joint programs.

Confirm our support of the continued development of a legal regime for space that will assure its safe and peaceful use for the benefit of mankind.

Second.—More and more, space is becoming a place to work—an extension of our environment. In the future, activities will be pursued in space when it appears that national objectives can most efficiently be met through space activities.

Third.—It is neither feasible nor necessary at this time to commit the United States to a high-challenge space engineering initiative comparable to Apollo. As the resources and manpower requirements for Shuttle development phase down, we will have the flexibility to give greater attention to new space applications and exploration, continue programs at present levels or contract them. To meet the objectives specified above, an adequate Federal budget commitment will be made.

The private sector.—Along with other appropriate agencies, NASA and Commerce will prepare a plan of action on how to encourage private investment and direct participation in civil remote sensing systems. NASA and Commerce will be the contacts for the private sector on this matter and will analyze proposals received before submitting to the Policy Review Committee (Space) for consideration and action.

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