232. Memorandum From Robert M. Behr of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1 2


  • Multinational Participation in Future Space Flights

Peter Flanigan has written a note (Tab B) to you, Dr. Paine, Dr,. DuBridge and Frank Borman reminding of the President’s interest in multinational participation in future space flights and inquiring about the current and future status of the program.

As you know, an interagency group chaired by State is studying foreign participation as a part of their response to NSSM 72 (International Space Cooperation). There will not be one-time report on all aspects of international space cooperation. Rather, the group will produce, incrementally, papers on specific subjects (such as earth resource surveying, cooperation with the Soviet Union, etc.). Moreover, the group views its mandate to be on-going. It can therefore see to it that future possibilities for multinational participation in space flights are not overlooked.

Additionally, the current NASA program for international space activity is both energetic and level-headed. They are avoiding “oversell” tactics and are proceeding at a pace best suited to accommodate those governments interested in programs of cooperation. I am confident that there has not been foot-dragging on our part. If there has been any lack of progress, I would attribute it—in foreign nations—to fiscal constraints, competing priorities, and differing perceptions of the utility of space operations.

In the area of space policy and program coordination, the staff of the National Aeronautics and Space Council can be expected to make significant contributions. The expanded staff, under Bill Anders, has a small section organized to handle international matters. We maintain a close working relationship with these people.

Finally, you should know that Senator Proxmire has submitted a resolution (S. Res. 285) which would authorize a study of the possibilities for international cooperation and cost sharing in the exploration of space.

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The resolution was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations, which in turn sent it to State for comment by the Executive Branch. BOB will clear the proposed response with us before sending it back to the Committee. As far as I can ascertain, there is not, on the Hill, overwhelming enthusiasm for the resolution.

I have prepared a brief reply (Tab A) from you to Peter Flanigan. Because Dr. Paine, Dr. DuBridge and Colonel Borman will also comment, your suggested response is confined essentially to NSC related activities. The memorandum (1) describes the work of the NSSM 72 Committee and (2) calls attention to the proposed Congressional study on international space cooperation.


That you sign the memorandum at Tab A.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 392, Subject Files, Space Programs. Sent for action. No classification marking. Attached but not published were Tabs A and B. On December 15 Kissinger wrote the following note on the first page: “Why can’t I get a coherent report for everything over a 5-year period. There was a Borman report earlier. State will just turn it into a negotiating exercise.”
  2. Behr provided Kissinger with a report on U.S. Government activities on multinational participation in future space flights and discussed the activities of the interagency group.