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

II. National Security Space Transportation Guideline


The Department of Defense will be the launch agent for the national security sector and will maintain the capability to evolve and operate those space transportation systems, infrastructure, and support activities necessary to meet national security requirements.


The Department of Defense will be the lead agency for improvement and evolution of the current expendable launch vehicle fleet, including appropriate technology development. All significant ELV technology-related development associated with medium and heavy-lift ELVs will be accomplished through the DoD. In coordination with the DoD, NASA will continue to be responsible for implementing changes necessary to meet its mission-unique requirements.


The objective of DoD's effort to improve and evolve current ELVs is to reduce costs while improving reliability, operability, responsiveness, and safety. Consistent with mission requirements, the DoD, in cooperation with the civil and commercial sectors, should evolve satellite, payload, and launch vehicle designs to achieve the most cost-effective and affordable integrated satellite, payload, and launch vehicle combination.


ELV improvements and evolution plans will be implemented in cooperation with the Intelligence Community, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Departments of Transportation and Commerce, taking into account, as appropriate, the needs of the commercial space launch sector.


The Department of Defense will maintain the Titan IV launch system until a replacement is available.


The Department of Defense, in cooperation with NASA, may use the Space Shuttle to meet national security needs. Launch priority will be provided for national security missions as governed by appropriate NASA/DoD agreements. Launches necessary to preserve and protect human life in space shall have the highest priority except in times of national emergency.


Protection of space transportation capabilities employed for national security purposes will be pursued commensurate with their planned use in crisis and conflict and the threat. Civil and commercial space transportation capabilities identified as critical to national security may be modified at the expense of the requesting agency or department. To the maximum extent possible, these systems, when modified, should retain their normal operational utility.

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