235. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1 2


  • Dr. Paine Reports on International Space Cooperation

Dr. Paine has sent you a letter (Tab A) reporting the results of his recent trip to Canada and highlighting other developments in international space cooperation since his letter of November 7, 1969. These are his main points:

  • -- The meeting with Canadian space officials was held for the purpose of acquainting them with U.S. space planning for the next decade and laying the groundwork for more substantial Canadian participation during the 1970’s. The conversations went well and are cause for optimism regarding Canadian involvement in our future programs.
  • -- In Europe there is growing evidence of a desire for greater participation in U.S. programs, especially NASA’s proposed space station and space shuttle. Plans are being laid for European association with us in the preparatory studies relating to these two programs.
  • -- In March, NASA will hold its quarterly review of future programs. Agents of the European Space Conference and representatives of other interested nations (Canada, Australia and Japan, for example) will be invited. One of the results of this meeting may be a first move toward an informal “International Space Council”. This would not be a U.S. initiative (our sponsorship might be counterproductive), but a logical product of the conference agenda and related discussions.
  • -- The Soviets (USSR Academy of Sciences) have now acknowledged our overtures and are receptive to discussions on the subject in “three or four months”. Their concept of cooperation, at this juncture, appears to be both tentative and limited — independent but coordinated programs, with an exchange of information on the results.

The most significant area for space cooperation appears, for the present, to be with the European community. This is, I believe, the consequence of [Page 2] first, your very positive statements on the subject, and then Dr. Paine’s low-key but eminently statesman-like visits to the European space community (and their reciprocal visits here). Specifically illustrative of what has come of the dialogue is the interest being shown within the new government of the FRG. Our Embassy in Bonn has reported that consideration is being given within the FRG to a level of participation in our post-Apollo program of up to 10% of the cost. This is an encouraging sign.

I will send a note to Dr. Paine advising him that you have noted his report.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 249, and Agency Files, NASA Vol. I. Confidential. Sent for information. Nixon wrote on the end of the second page: “Particularly follow up on program we could announce soon for Germ, Japan, British, French astros to participate in ′75 or whatever is earliest feasible year. This is a must.” Attached but not published was Tab A.
  2. Kissinger summarized NASA Administrator Paine’s report on his trip to Canada and other developments in international space cooperation.