92. Memorandum by the President’s Special Assistant (Cater)1


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare
  • Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Administrator, Agency for International Development
  • Director, United States Information Agency
  • Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology
  • Special Assistant to the President for Telecommunications and Director of Telecommunications Management


  • Foreign Educational Uses of Communications Satellite

The President has approved the report of the White House Working Group on Educational Uses Abroad of Communications Satellites, set up earlier this year under authority of NSAM 342.2

The report recommends that the United States Government adopt an active program for examining ways in which international educational [Page 172] programs in support of U.S. goals can be furthered by the use of satellite communications.

The following recommendations made in the report should now be implemented by the agencies concerned:

As satellite communications technology advances and satellite capacity becomes available, the U.S. Government will encourage different types of experimental programs to demonstrate to less-developed countries the potential educational uses of the satellites. Involvement of the Comsat Corporation in these programs should be considered. (Action: NASA, with the assistance of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, USIA, the State Department, and the Office of Telecommunications Management.)
In less-developed countries of concern to the United States and where there is top-level interest in assessing the potential of educational broadcasting, the United States Government, working with American educators, will offer to assist in a careful study of the educational needs of each country and the cost and technical aspects of meeting these needs technologically in comparison with conventional methods. Consideration should be given in such studies to a practical demonstration of the use of satellite technology. (Action: AID with HEW, NASA, and OTM.)
In proceeding with programs of advanced technology, NASA should bear in mind the potential use of satellite communications in educational programs abroad. (Action:NASA with OTM.)
At a propitious time, the U.S. Government should consider raising with the Soviet Government the possibility of “live” satellite cultural television exchanges under the now-dormant TV-exchange section to the US–USSR cultural agreement. (Action: Department of State.)
The Executive Branch’s Committee on Scientific and Technological Information (COSATI) should develop a special study of the factors involved in overseas extensions of the proposed U.S. national information-retrieval network, utilizing satellite and other transmission means. (Action: Office of the Science Advisor.)

Douglass Cater
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Charles E. Johnson Files, COMSAT—Educational Purposes, NSAM 342 (Domestic and Foreign), #3, Box 12. Confidential.
  2. NSAM No. 342 is Document 82. Regarding this report, see footnote 3 thereto.