24. Presidential Directive/NSC–331


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director, Office of Management and Budget
  • The Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
  • The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • The Director of Central Intelligence
  • The Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • The Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy


  • Arms Control for Anti-satellite (ASAT) Systems

Reference is made to National Security Advisor memorandum, dated September 23, 1977, subject as above.2

I direct removal of the restriction, cited in the reference memorandum, on operational or space-based testing. The Secretary of Defense is authorized to pursue, for planning purposes, a U.S. ASAT development program encompassing that testing in space or against U.S. objects in space deemed essential to achieve an ASAT capability.

Our future dialogue with the Soviets on Space Arms Control should indicate that we intend to seek an ASAT capability as soon as possible unless they are willing to take very positive actions to preclude such a move on our part.

All other elements of the referenced memorandum remain in effect at this time.

Jimmy Carter
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 4, Anti-Satellite System (ASAT): 7/77–10/80. Top Secret.
  2. See Document 11.