247. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Johnson) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1 2
- Post-Apollo Space Program
The Department, in consultation with the Executive Secretary of the Space Council, the NSC Staff, OST and NASA, has prepared the enclosed brief report on the relevance of the manner in which FY-72 budget decisions are made concerning the post-Apollo space program to the European approach to their participation in that program. I subscribe to the conclusion in that Report that, if we are to sustain the impetus in Europe to participate substantially in the post-Apollo program, the content and character of our FY-72 budgetary and program decisions for the space transportation system should provide a clear indication that the US stands committed to continuity and forward movement in its major space efforts.
I have no doubt that the values of foreign participation in the post-Apollo program have already been addressed in the budget proposals now before the President. Although these values are clearly not the primary consideration in our budget and program decisions, I should like to reiterate that they are, nonetheless, quite important.
From a technical point of view we would obtain the benefit of European know-how in areas where they have special technical competence. Under the terms presently contemplated, European participation would reduce United States budget requirements by approximately $l billion. From a national security viewpoint, there are obvious advantages to having the Europeans as partners in the United States program, as compared to their developing a separate and independent space launching capability which would be wasteful and over which we would have little or no influence. Politically, we have long encouraged the Western Europeans to collaborate on multinational endeavors and this would be a very large one indeed. Success in this [Page 2] venture would help put life into other pending proposals for intra-European cooperation and could be a useful precedent for major scientific and technical projects in the future. Participation in this program would also strengthen the technological capacity of countries who are our NATO allies and thereby enhance the strength of the Alliance.
- Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, SP 10 US. No classification marking. Drafted by Robert Packard.↩
- Johnson argued that European participation in the post-Apollo program (if it were to happen) would reduce the U.S. budget requirements by $1 billion, generate U.S. cooperation in other scientific and technical projects, and strengthen NATO.↩