233. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (Paine)1 2

The following suggestion was sent to me on a personal basis by one of our Ambassadors. I thought it might be of interest to you:

“Standing of United States in world of science has never been higher and this has distinct bearing on our security. Am not so much concerned with keeping Russians on ropes psychologically as in increasing respect of mankind generally for our attitude.

“In our space program, as far as rest of world is concerned, two things in particular stand out in addition to our. mastery of laws of physics, chemistry, biology and communications. They are theme ‘We came for all mankind’ and fact that a civilian first set foot on moon.

“With Apollo 12 on way home, it may now be possible to consider another step in psychological field. This would be to announce that we look forward to admission to our space program of representatives of various world races (black, brown, yellow as well as white) in addition to Americans who would naturally participate. It would be in keeping with our traditions if first of them stood on another world in company of our countrymen.

“President’s ‘-all mankind’ theme would then be implanted not only on moon but in minds everywhere on earth with such clear evidence of American intention to share experience of deep space with others. Obviously, [Page 2] not more than token selection is practical at present, but I believe we would derive psychological benefits from even limited gesture of this nature, just as we have from providing others with access to our universities, service academies, and USG programs.

“Am aware that this idea may be either premature or impractical.”

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 249, Agency Files, NASA Vol. I. No classification marking.
  2. Kissinger passed on a personal suggestion, received from an ambassador, that NASA should implement President Nixon’s “all-mankind” theme by including representatives of various races in the space program.