26. Letter From the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Webb) to President Johnson 1

Dear Mr. President:

Your National Security Action Memorandum No. 285, endorsing our report on cooperation with the USSR on outer space matters, called for further recommendations appropriate to the Soviet attitude as of May 1.

There has been no Soviet response to our initiative at the United Nations, and progress under the current agreement has been limited thus far to Soviet participation in joint tests with the passive communications satellite ECHO II. Dr. Dryden expects, however, to have further bilateral discussions with Academician Blagonravov in Geneva when they are both there for the United Nations’ space committee meetings from May 22 through June 12. We request approval, therefore, to defer any further recommendations to you until the latter part of June.2

You also asked that the members of the Space Council be briefed on our report. Such a briefing was held on April 10.

Respectfully yours,

James E. Webb
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Charles E. Johnson Files, Cooperation in Space, US–USSR #2, Box 14. Confidential.
  2. Bundy transmitted the President’s concurrence in a memorandum to Webb on May 11. (Ibid.) Growing administration frustration with Soviet unresponsiveness to U.S. initiatives is also reflected in memoranda from Charles E. Johnson to Bundy, May 4 and May 8. (Ibid.)