255. Memorandum for the Record1 2


  • Senior Staff Meeting, Wednesday, February 10

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to international cooperation in space.]

Post-Apollo Space Cooperation

Col. Behr: Lefevre and a delegation are meeting with Alexis Johnson tomorrow on post-Apollo space cooperation. It will be a difficult session since we‘re still hung up on the provision of launch services for their communication satellites. It is a question of whether the French are prepared to be reasonable.

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Mr. Kissinger: How about us?

Col. Behr: We‘ve gone about as far as we can go. The issue is whether or not we are prepared to give an unequivocal commitment to provide launch services for their satellites.

Mr. Kissinger: If we‘re insisting on a veto, why is that reasonable?

Col. Behr: We‘re not saying we won’t provide launch services. We‘re saying we won’t give them a commitment to provide such services without including provision for a negative vote for Intelsat.

Mr. Kissinger: Why should they accept that position? It puts their communication satellites at our mercy since we control Intelsat.

Col. Behr: Alex Johnson proposes to ask them to give us a specific description of their program and we would tell them whether or not we would support it in Intelsat.

Mr. Kissinger: On what criteria?

Col. Behr: On whether or not the European Regional Satellite would harm Intelsat revenues so as to penalize the rest of the consortium—the extent to which it would pull revenues away from Intelsat.

Mr. Kissinger: You mean pull them away from us?

Col. Behr: Not just us—there are 77 nations in Intelsat.

Mr. Kissinger: Contributing what?

Col. Behr: I don’t know the contribution formula. They contribute according to their means.

Mr. Sonnenfeldt: We would have a serious Congressional problem. Congress won’t let us relinquish control of Intelsat.

Mr. Kissinger: Could we get the contribution formula? I don’t think our position is reasonable. Give me a paper on this.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to international cooperation in space.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1272, Saunders Chronology, NSC Operations Staff Meetings. Secret.
  2. A transcript of an NSC senior staff meeting that includes a discussion of the upcoming discussions on the post-Apollo program with the Europeans.