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Bureau of Public Affairs > Office of the Historian > Foreign Relations of the United States > Kennedy Administration > Volume XXV
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Foreign Relations, Organization of Foreign Policy; Information Policy; United Nations; Scientific Matters
Released by the Office of the Historian
Documents 386 through 413

U.S.-Soviet Space Cooperation


386. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant for Science and Technology (Wiesner) to President Kennedy/1/

Washington, February 20, 1961.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Departments and Agencies Series, Space Activities, General, 1/61-3/61, Box 307. Confidential.

Following up on our conversation of the other evening, I would like to elaborate on the questions posed by the Russian Venus shot and our relative positions in the general fields of space exploration and science. The most significant factor, as we have said many times, is that the Soviets have developed a rocket as part of their ballistic missile program with considerably more thrust or lifting power than anything we have available. We know that the Soviet booster can put payloads of the order of several tons (the most recent one was announced to be seven tons) in a low orbit, while the best we can do at the present time, using our latest combination rocket Atlas-Agena, is approximately 5,000 pounds. This combination was used to launch the recent Samos shot. These figures indicate that the Soviets have approximately a three-to-one advantage in weight-lifting capability at this time. This corresponds roughly to the difference we believe to exist in the payload capability of the USSR vs. U.S. ballistic missiles.

We do not fully understand why the Soviets chose to make so large a ballistic missile, because it is undoubtedly a nuisance to operate. We suspect that the design was well under way before the feasibility of thermonuclear bombs was proven and that it was probably designed to carry ordinary nuclear weapons which are much heavier. Also, the Soviet Union has been developing ballistic missiles for a considerably longer period of time than has the U.S., so they have had the advantage of an orderly evolutionary program. They began with a relatively short-range missile (200 to 300-mile range), went to a 600-mile missile, then a 900-mile missile, and on up to the IRBM stage, and finally to the present long-range missile. By doing this they were in position to use many of the components developed in one stage for successive stages, possibly making only minor changes and improvements. We, on the other hand, because of our late entry in the missile field, have found it necessary to develop complete missile systems with entirely new components. This has resulted in more duplications in our experimental program than has been the case in the Soviet program. It is my personal opinion, as a matter of fact, that some of this duplication and accompanying difficulty could have been avoided had our program been somewhat better integrated.

We do not expect to have boosters comparable to the present Soviet booster for approximately three years, though I believe we should be able to speed this up with hard work, so that we must expect continued embarrassments of the present type for some time, because in any space exploit requiring large payload capability the Soviet Union is ahead. On the other hand, as we have frequently said, the U.S. has done by all odds the most impressive job of exploiting its payload capability for scientific purposes. The Soviets have done surprisingly little with the opportunities they have had. The most impressive things that they have done were photographing the back side of the moon and transmitting the photographs back to earth (and this was a superb technical performance) and the return of the dogs from orbit. The U.S. has to its credit the discovery and definition of the Van Allen belts; the first precise geodetic use of an artificial earth satellite to obtain refined information on the size and shape of the earth; the first achievement of both active and passive communications satellites; discovery of a large electrical current system about the earth; successful use of weather satellites with cloud cover pictures and earth heat balance measurements; the first measurements of interplanetary magnetic fields; radio communications at inter-planetary distances; and the first simultaneous observation of solar disturbances and associated magnetic storms from interplanetary space and on earth. Unfortunately, it is much more difficult to dramatize these things than it is the massive performances by the Soviet Union.

One of the things we must realize is that in dramatizing the space race we are playing into the Soviet's strongest suit. They are using this accomplishment at home and around the world to prove the superiority of Soviet science and technology and to divert attention from many of their more mundane difficulties. The fact of the matter is that Western science, and particularly American science, is still vastly superior in most fields to Soviet science and they know this as well as we do. Furthermore, in almost any other arena in which we would elect to compete, food, housing, recreation, medical research, basic technological competence, general consumer goods production, etc., they would look very bad. We should attempt to point this out rather than assist them by an official and press reaction which supports their propaganda.

J.B. Wiesner/2/

/2/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.


387. Paper Prepared in the Department of State/1/

Washington, April 13, 1961.

/1/Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Office of International Affairs. Confidential. The paper is marked "Redraft." An April 14 covering memorandum from Philip J. Farley, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Atomic Energy and Outer Space, transmitted the paper to Eugene B. Skolnikoff, Technical Assistant in the Office of the President's Special Assistant for Science and Technology, and Marvin W. Robinson of NASA's Office of International Programs. Robinson in turn sent it to Deputy Administrator Dryden on the same date. The paper is also printed in John M. Logsdon, Dwayne A. Day, and Roger D. Launius (eds.), Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program, Volume II: External Relationships (Washington, 1996), pp. 143-147.


General Objectives

The general objectives of scientific cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union are to demonstrate the possibility of cooperative enterprise between the U.S. and the USSR in fields of wide interest, to achieve the practical advantages of sharing the work and cost on major projects, and to establish early cooperation in fields (e.g. meteorological activities that might eventually lead to weather control or manned exploration of the moon) in which unchecked competition may ultimately be dangerous as well as wasteful.


The proposals herein seek to (a) maximize acceptability by the USSR, and (b) minimize the potential for misunderstanding and obstruction which must be recognized to exist in any joint program with the Soviet Union. The proposals therefore have, in general, the following character:

(1) Valid scientific objectives.
(2) Comparable contributions by the U.S. and USSR.
(3) Technical and economic feasibility for the U.S.
(4) Minimal interference with on-going U.S. programs.
(5) Minimal grounds for Soviet suspicions of U.S. motives (access, surveillance, etc.)
(6) Opportunities for third-nation participation at appropriate time.

The proposals fall into three categories:

(a) The employment of existing or easily attainable ground facilities for exchange of information and services in support of orbiting experiments.

(b) The coordination of independently-launched satellite experiments so as to achieve simultaneous but complementary coverage of agreed phenomena.

(c) Coordination of or cooperation in ambitious projects for the manned exploration of the moon and the unmanned exploration of the planets.

The three categories of proposals are advanced in order to offer the Soviet Union a wide range of choice and avoid the appearance of "pushing" a pre-selected objective. While the costs are estimated to range from relatively insignificant levels in Category (a) to $15-20 million in Category (b) and, very roughly, $10 to $30 billion in Category (c), it may be assumed that the Soviet Union as well as ourselves is likely to pursue the more costly programs in any event.

Such cooperation as is discussed here should be proposed and carried out on the basis of an expanding U.S. program of space science and exploration, and without prejudice to continuing joint enterprise with and assistance to the free world.


Overtures should be made at a high Governmental level to be decided at the time, inviting the USSR to engage in cooperative enterprises such as the proposals made below. Soviet counter-suggestions of areas of cooperation would also be invited. The initial discussions would seek a go-ahead for exploratory technical talks preliminary to agreement in principle. Privacy in all such discussions would appear to enhance the chances of success. Technical advice should be available at all times. Our major allies would be informed in advance of the overtures.


Category (a)

These proposals for the most part call for the use of ground facilities for mutual services:

(i) The U.S. and the USSR might agree to provide ground-based support on a reciprocal basis for space experiments, e.g.,

--When either nation launches a satellite or probe carrying a magnetometer experiment, the other would collect rapid-run magnetograms at its ground observatories. (A Soviet scientist has recently promised to do this in connection with the U.S. P-14 probe, following a private request.)

--When either nation launches a meteorological satellite, the other would carry out routine and special (airborne, balloon-borne, all-sky camera) weather observations synchronized with the passes of the satellite, analyze the data from both sources, and participate in scientific exchanges of the results.

--Similar arrangements would be useful in connection with ionospheric, auroral, and other geophysical researches.

(ii) The U.S. and the USSR could agree to record telemetry from each other's satellites, exchanging the resulting tapes as requested. Each would furnish the necessary orbital information and telemetry calibrations to the other. This would be of particular value in sun-related experiments and could extend to the exchange of command signals to permit the best-situated nation to energize a given experiment under certain conditions of solar activity.

(iii) In the communications field, the USSR may wish to employ a ground facility for long-distance experimental transmission of voice or TV signals by means of communications satellites to be launched by NASA after mid-1962 (Projects Relay/Rebound). Such facilities are being prepared also by the U.K. and France. Transmissions may be effected between the latter and the USSR (by means of a U.S. satellite) as usefully as between the U.S. and the USSR. (If supplementary equipment peculiar to such experimental testing in this case is required by the USSR, NASA could provide it at costs ranging up to $2 million.)

(iv) Another type of cooperation can be envisaged in the field of space medicine. Summer institutes in various fields of space science also might be proposed.

The exchanges proposed in (a) have been sought, almost with complete unsuccess, at government agency and scientific society levels since the beginning of the IGY. They are included because of their inherent desirability and because a somewhat greater chance of acceptance may follow if initiated at higher levels. (The program in Categories (b) and (c) have not yet been proposed to the Soviet Union.)

The proposals made in Category (a) are for coordinated rather than interdependent efforts and thus would avoid difficulties which may be associated with the latter type of cooperation with the USSR. Activities in this category are within the capability of many nations, and participation by interested countries should be provided for.

Category (b)

(i) Weather satellites promise broad near-future benefits as a meteorological tool. Equal participation by the U.S. and the USSR in coordinated launching of experimental satellites capable of providing typhoon warnings, etc., would have great impact.

One specific proposal/2/ is that the U.S. and the USSR each place in polar orbit a meteorological satellite to record cloud-cover and radiation-balance data, such that

/2/Broader cooperation in meteorology is possible and desirable. A specific proposal for a major world-wide cooperative meteorological program, in which satellites would be a part, is being developed separately. [Footnote in the source text.]

--The two satellites have reasonably overlapping lifetimes (at least three months).

--The satellites orbit in planes at right angles to each other, providing at least six-hour coverage of the earth.

--The data characteristics permit reception and analysis interchangeably, if possible.

--Each country may receive telemetry from the other's satellite through continuous readout if power sources permit or by command if otherwise.

--Camera resolutions are appropriate only for the objective--photographs of cloud cover.

--The results are to be made available to the scientific community (World Data Centers and WMO).

(ii) Coordinated programs including experimental or research satellite launchings in other fields than meteorology (e.g., communications) could also be of value. In the field of geophysics, for example, there are possibilities for the useful coordination of the orbits of contemporaneous satellites so as to obtain measurements under contrasting or complementary conditions.

(iii) Simultaneous and coordinated rocket launchings from a number of stations covering a wide range of latitudes and longitudes would for the first time provide a global picture of the properties of the atmosphere at a given instant of time, if conducted on a scale greater than now done during International Rocket Weeks.

The first proposal in Category (b) above falls in the meteorological field, in which the U.S. appears to lead. While the USSR has not yet done anything in this field, it has on one occasion indicated at the highest scientific level that space meteorology is favorably viewed as an area for cooperation. A generous timescale (or offer to provide instrumentation) might moderate the negative factor.

The proposals made in Category (b) are, like those in Category (a), for coordinated rather than interdependent efforts and thus would avoid difficulties which may be associated with the latter type of cooperation with the USSR.

Category (c)

These proposals relate to the exploration of celestial bodies.

(i) Mars or Venus programs.

Planetary investigations are immensely difficult undertakings requiring protracted programs of great complexity and variety, progressing through fly-bys, orbiters, hard and soft landings, and surface prospecting. The U.S. and the USSR could coordinate their independent programs so as to provide for a useful sequencing and, perhaps, sharing of experimental missions, with scientific benefits and economics. Full data exchange, guaranteed by provision of telemetry calibrations, should be provided. If cooperation is interrupted, no loss is sustained and the programs may proceed independently.

The U.S. and USSR could, alternatively, enter into a joint program that would mean more intimate involvement; such a program would include cooperative development of equipment and sharing of experimental missions, and would point toward eventual joint launching of probes.

(ii) Manned Exploration of Moon.

The exploration of the surface of the moon is the first space endeavor where we think that the presence of man will add greatly to what could reasonably be done with instrumented packages.

As a first step in non-limited cooperative effort, the U.S. and the USSR would each undertake to place a small party (about 3) of men on the moon for scientific purposes and return them to earth.

As in planetary programs, a more extensive cooperative program could also be envisaged in which the U.S. and USSR enter into a joint manned lunar program, including cooperative development, planning, and international exploration.

The proposals made in Category (c), in the lunar and planetary fields, suggest programs for which the USSR has demonstrably greater existing capability. Inclusion of both categories in proposals to the USSR may therefore be effective.

No significant Mars probe capability now exists in the U.S. By 1964, Centaur should permit significant fly-bys only, while Saturn C-1 would put about 300 pound payloads in orbit after 1964.

The Mars/Venus program is a long-range one whose cost varies widely with numbers of launchings, nature of payloads, and extent of back-up. A balanced program (unmanned), including some 15 Venus shots and 8 Mars shots in the next decade, may cost in the order of $1 billion.

Neither country now possesses a capability for a manned lunar project. It will require boosters of the order of Saturn C-2 using orbital rendezvous and refueling techniques (still to be attempted and perfected) for the upper stages. At least six Saturn C-2's would be required for a single mission, plus appropriate back-up. The time-scale is probably a decade, during which some 70-80 Saturns would be required for developmental purposes, and the cost is roughly of the order of $10 to $30 billion. During the decade, alternative vehicle systems may conceivably become available, obviating the difficult rendezvous requirement.

In the suggestions for cooperation given above, it can be seen that the degree of involvement between the U.S. and the USSR can in principle be varied from coordination of national programs to full cooperation on joint endeavors;

It is possible to restrict proposals which may be made to the Soviet Union to the level of coordination of essentially independent programs. Benefits would derive from joint planning and organization of such coordinated efforts. This might have the advantages of greater acceptability in the U.S. and in the Soviet Union (where suspicions of U.S. motivations would be present in any case). It may also be more realistic in terms of the technical exchanges and access which may be feasible.

On the other hand, it would be possible to indicate a range of possible relationships to the Soviet Union, extending to interdependent programs and leaving it to them to select the starting level.

As we contemplate programs that involve greater degree of cooperation, positive factors would be the impact on U.S./USSR relations growing out of intimate cooperation on large and meaningful projects, and the advantages accruing to both countries in carrying out space programs utilizing the best of what each has to offer without unnecessary time pressures. We must also anticipate certain increased difficulties. These would include the risk that the whole program would be lost if one or the other participant withdrew because of political or other reasons; the fact that we would have to be prepared to admit Russians to installations such as Cape Canaveral and to show them details of our booster and payload systems (of course, the Russians would have to do the same if they agreed to intimate cooperation), and the possibility that Congressional, scientific and public support might also be more difficult because of the very high costs involved, coupled with the potential damage to our program if the Soviets became obstructive or withdrew.

At any level of relationships, proposals for cooperation in Category (c) have the greatest potential for matching the President's theme that "Both nations would help themselves as well as other nations by removing these endeavors from the bitter and wasteful competition of the Cold War." The United States considers exploration of the celestial bodies, particularly manned space exploration, to be perhaps the most challenging adventure of this century. This venture should be conducted on behalf of the human race and the earth as a whole, not on behalf of any single nation. The vigorous and accelerating United States space exploration program is proceeding in this spirit. If the Soviet Union shares this conception, then planning should be undertaken promptly for cooperative manned exploration of the moon and unmanned exploration of Mars and Venus. These projects should of course be open to the participation of all interested countries, conceivably under the auspices of the United Nations. They could, however, be undertaken most constructively only if the United States and the Soviet Union agree on objectives and on coordination of their efforts for the most rapid progress and the most efficient use of human and natural resources.


388. National Security Action Memorandum No. 129/1/

Washington, February 23, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, NSAM No. 129, U.S.-USSR Space Cooperation, Box 334. No classification marking. Copies were sent to the Administrator of NASA, Director of the Bureau of the Budget, the Director of USIA, Executive Secretary of the NASC, and the Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology. A typed notation indicates that this NSAM was revised on February 27. An attached memorandum from Bundy to Webb, dated February 23, urged NASA to "go a little out of their way to find good projects" in view of the political advantages that could be derived from being "forthcoming and energetic in plans for peaceful cooperation with the Soviets in this sphere."

The Secretary of State

U.S.-U.S.S.R. Cooperation in the Exploration of Space

The President has responded to a message of congratulation from Chairman Khrushchev by indicating his desire that the U.S. and U.S.S.R. should cooperate in the exploration of space./2/ While emphasizing his belief in strong support of the work of the United Nations in this same field, he told the Chairman that he was "instructing the appropriate officers of this Government to prepare new and concrete proposals for immediate projects of common action." He also expressed his hope that "at a very early date representatives of our two space teams may meet to discuss our ideas and yours in a spirit of practical cooperation."

/2/For texts, see Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. VI, Documents 35 and 36. See also Document 389.

Accordingly, the President requests that in cooperation with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Executive Secretary, National Aeronautics and Space Council, and the Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, the Department of State promptly develop such new and concrete proposals, together with recommendations as to the best way of opening discussion with Soviet representatives on these matters. These recommendations should, of course, be consistent with continued support of the work which has begun in the UN, but the President does require that there be a prompt and energetic follow-up of his message to Chairman Khrushchev.

The President further requests that you designate one officer of the Department of State to have general charge of this project and inform us when this designation has been made./3/

/3/On February 27 Executive Secretary Lucius D. Battle informed Bundy that Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs George C. McGhee had been designated as the officer in charge of preparing proposals for space cooperation with the Soviet Union. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, NSAM No. 129, U.S.-USSR Space Cooperation, Box 334)

McGeorge Bundy/4/

/4/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.


389. Editorial Note

President Kennedy sent two letters to Chairman Khrushchev that suggested that the United States and the Soviet Union should seek areas in which they might cooperate in the exploration of outer space. The first, dated February 21, 1962, acknowledged Khruschchev's congratulations following the orbital flight of Colonel John Glenn, and concluded, "I am instructing the appropriate officers of this Government to prepare new and concrete proposals for immediate projects of common action, and I hope that at a very early date our representatives may meet to discuss our ideas and yours in a spirit of practical cooperation." The second, dated March 7 and released on March 18, suggested certain areas for possible cooperation, including: joint establishment of a weather satellite system, establishment of a satellite tracking system in each other's country, mapping the earth's magnetic field, communications satellite technology, and space medicine. Secretary of State Rusk submitted a draft copy of this letter to the President on March 6. For texts of these messages, see Foreign Relations, 196l-1963, volume VI, Documents 36 and 41.

On March 16 Acting Secretary of State George Ball recommended to President Kennedy that Dr. Hugh L. Dryden, Deputy Administrator of NASA, be designated as the principal U.S. technical representative should the Soviets agree to discuss areas for cooperation. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, NSAM No. 129, U.S.-USSR Space Cooperation, Box 334)


390. Paper Prepared in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration/1/

Washington, April 21, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, NSAM No. 129, U.S.-USSR Space Cooperation, Box 334. No classification marking. An attached routing slip from Arnold W. Frutkin of NASA to Bromley Smith, also dated April 21, reads: "Attached is brief status report you requested. It was not possible to get into my safe for Dr. Dryden's own summary. I will provide this Sunday or Monday a.m. to supplement the attached."


1. Dr. Dryden and Professor Blagonravov, with small technical and political staffs, met in New York on March 27th, 28th and 30th.

2. It was agreed that the talks would be preliminary and exploratory and that formal negotiations would begin either at the time of the COSPAR meeting in Washington April 30th to May 9th or at the time of the meetings of the technical and legal subcommittees of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space in Geneva beginning May 28th. A letter has since gone from Dr. Dryden to Professor Blagonravov through the U. S. Embassy in Moscow requesting an early indication of the Soviet choice of these two alternatives.

3. The New York talks were very relaxed in character with an almost total absence of cold war atmosphere. The exceptions were as follows:

(a) At one point Blagonravov stated that he had been requested to state the desirability of a joint pledge by US and USSR scientists to reserve space for peaceful purposes and prohibit "spy-in-the-sky" satellites. Dr. Dryden stated that this subject fell outside the scope of the discussions. At the conclusion of the talks, an issue arose as to whether a joint press release should cite the subjects which it was agreed would be developed first. Blagonravov objected unless all subjects discussed, including the spy-in-the-sky matter, were included. It was agreed that no subjects would be specified, and the press release indicated that current and future discussions would follow the items developed in the Kennedy-Khrushchev correspondence.

(b) Blagonravov repeated the line that more far-reaching cooperation would be contingent upon agreement on disarmament.

In both of the above cases, Blagonravov was very relaxed and almost apologetic.

4. With regard to the content of the discussions, Blagonravov indicated:

(a) The USSR will very likely launch meteorological satellites and is willing to coordinate their orbits and exchange the data much as suggested in the President's letter.

(b) While prepared to carry out experimental communications with the U.S. by means of a passive reflector satellite (ECHO or an ECHO follow-on), the USSR is not ready to discuss general cooperation in satellite communications yet.

(c) The USSR is ready to cooperate in a coordinated survey of the earth's magnetic field by satellites in complementary orbits.

(d) While not prepared to exchange tracking stations, the USSR would be willing to exchange tracking and telemetry services, even to the extent of providing equipment to U. S. specifications.

(e) Other subject areas were discussed in general terms, nothing being excluded, although there was some indication of unwillingness to exchange laboratory visits at this time. With regard to disturbances and contamination in space, Blagonravov's objective seemed to be simply that experiments with such potential would be brought to the notice of the interested countries in order to avoid interference with their experiments.

5. The US side prepared three short papers expanding upon the President's proposals in the meteorological, magnetic survey, and telemetry exchange fields. These were presented to Blagonravov for consideration for more detailed negotiations at the next meeting. Blagonravov hoped that similar papers might be prepared by Soviet scientists for the same purpose. Dr. Dryden's letter, mentioned above, asks that such papers be made available as soon as possible. (The US side is preparing additional papers on the remaining subjects.)

6. With regard to future procedure, at the request of Dr. Dryden, Blagonravov indicated a strong preference for agreement on individual projects if agreement can be reached rather than deferral of agreement until a total package can be achieved. To the extent that this position is maintained, it should minimize roadblocks in the form of political conditions./2/

/2/A handwritten note at the bottom of the page reads: "A summary of the 3 U.S.-USSR meetings is attached." The attached summary is not printed. For text of the "Record of the US-USSR Talks on Space Cooperation," see Exploring the Unknown, Volume II: External Relationships, pp. 153-162.


391. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Kennedy/1/

Washington, May 15, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, NSAM 129, U.S.-USSR Space Cooperation, Box 334. Confidential. A handwritten note by Bundy on the memorandum reads: "Hold for Standing Group this p.m."

Bilateral Talks Concerning US-USSR Cooperation in Outer Space Activities

While in Washington for the Symposium of the International Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), Professor Blagonravov has said that he will be prepared to continue his discussions with Dr. Dryden at Geneva in June during the meetings of the subcommittees of the UN Outer Space Committee. You will recall that Professor Blagonravov is the Soviet scientist who was designated by Khrushchev to discuss with your designee the proposals which were contained in your exchange of letters with Khrushchev on cooperation in outer space activities. The first such discussions between Professor Blagonravov and Dr. Dryden were held in New York City on March 27-30.

As a result of those talks Dr. Dryden feels, and we agree, that the Soviets clearly prefer to develop such arrangements on a step-by-step basis, not on the basis of an overall formal agreement between the two governments. Further, the Soviets are apparently interested in working primarily within multilateral programs (e.g. those of the World Meteorological Organization and the International Telecommunications Union), but on the basis of prior US-USSR agreement. It appears unlikely that significant joint effort in outer space activities will develop in the near term, but there is a prospect that the Soviets will agree to some modest cooperation in the form of coordinated satellite launch schedules, compatible instrumentation, and some additional exchange of technical information.

The talks in New York were preliminary and exploratory. They were limited to the specific proposals contained in your letter to Khrushchev and his reply. It was clear that Professor Blagonravov was not fully prepared on the detailed technical aspects of several of those proposals and was not authorized to make commitments, however preliminary. Thus the June Geneva talks should be more revealing of Soviet willingness to take concrete steps.

At one point in the talks Professor Blagonravov suggested that progress toward cooperation would be greatly facilitated if the US and the USSR would agree to ban all military reconnaissance activities in outer space. (He suggested that Dr. Dryden, as a scientist, should prevail upon his Government to this end.) We have since learned from the Soviet Mission in New York that this proposition is more than a suggestion; that it is in fact a formal Soviet proposal which they are likely to press in the UN Outer Space Subcommittee meetings at Geneva. So far agreement on this point has not been made a precondition to technical cooperation. The Soviets continue to cite the need for disarmament as a precondition to intimate and extensive space cooperation but not necessarily to more modest cooperation.

Following the recent talks, Under Secretary McGhee, who is coordinating this matter for the Department, convened a meeting of the interested agencies of government in which Mr. Webb, Dr. Wiesner, and Dr. Welsh, among others, participated./2/ A review of the conduct of these talks during this meeting resulted in an agreement that the present low-key, step-by-step approach through informal talks by scientific representatives holds the most promise of breaking through Soviet reservations and initiating cooperation. For the time being we do not feel it necessary or wise to set a specific deadline by which these talks should be completed successfully or terminated. There will, of course, have to be agreed arrangements covering each project undertaken.

/2/No other record of this meeting has been found.

Dean Rusk


392. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State (Ball) to President Kennedy/1/

Washington, July 5, 1962.

/1/Source. Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, NSAM No. 129, U.S.-USSR Space Cooperation, Box 334. Confidential. Also printed in Exploring the Unknown, Volume II: External Relationships, pp. 163-164. In a July 13 attached memorandum to the President, Bundy noted that the three projects described in this memorandum had been reviewed by the CIA, the Defense Department, and various members of Congress and were "quite safe." "In essence they provide for the kind of cooperation in which we get as much as we give, and in which neither our advanced techniques nor our cognate reconnaissance capabilities will be compromised."

Bilateral Talks Concerning US-USSR Cooperation in Outer Space Activities

On May 15 the Secretary wrote to you describing the developments in this matter prior to the recent talks in Geneva between Dr. Dryden and Professor Blagonravov./2/ These talks commenced on May 29 and continued concurrently with meetings of the subcommittees of the UN Outer Space Committee. As a result, technical arrangements for three specific cooperative projects were agreed ad referendum to the US and Soviet Governments in a joint memorandum signed by Dr. Dryden and Professor Blagonravov on June 8. (See Enclosure 1.)/3/ On the same day, Dr. Dryden and Professor Blagonravov issued a joint Press Communique summarizing briefly the results of these discussions. (See Enclosure 2.)/4/

/2/Dryden and Blagonravov held their first meetings to discuss U.S.-Soviet space cooperation May 29-June 8 in Geneva, Switzerland.

/3/For text of the Summary of Understandings, signed by Dryden and Blagonravov on June 8, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1962, pp. 1328-1332.

/4/Not printed.

The three projects involve (1) exchange of weather data from satellites and the eventual coordinated launching of meteorological satellites, (2) a joint effort to map the magnetic field of the earth by means of coordinated launchings of geomagnetic satellites and related ground observations, and (3) cooperation in the experimental relay of communications via the Echo satellite. It was also agreed that there should be further discussion of the possibility of broader cooperation in experiments using active communications satellites to be launched in the future. These arrangements are quite limited in scope and have been drawn carefully to assure reciprocal benefit. They have been developed in the context of multilateral programs (e.g., the program of the World Meteorological Organization for the acquisition and world-wide distribution of weather data, and the program being planned by the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics for a world geomagnetic survey). The Soviets appeared quite anxious to achieve these agreements.

The arrangements proposed in the joint Dryden-Blagonravov memorandum represent a sound way of proceeding so long as they are adhered to by the Soviet Government and are developed in such a way as not to foster an impression abroad that they represent a more significant step toward US-Soviet cooperation than they actually do or that US-USSR cooperation will in any way preempt the cooperation already being developed with other countries.

There remain three other specific projects which were suggested in your exchange of correspondence with Chairman Khrushchev last March, but on which no specific conclusions or proposals have been reached during the technical discussions so far, i.e.: (1) the acquisition of data obtained through tracking facilities located in each other's countries but operated by the host governments, (2) joint observation of solar and interplanetary probes, and (3) space medicine. Although it seems clear that the Soviets are not interested in cooperating in tracking and it appears doubtful that they are really interested in joint observation of space probes, it would be well to afford them the opportunity to discuss all these projects further.

Upon Dr. Dryden's return from Geneva, Under Secretary McGhee, who is coordinating this matter for the Department, convened a meeting of the interested agencies of government in which Dr. Dryden, Dr. Welsh, Dr. Reichelderfer and representatives of Dr. Wiesner, Mr. Bundy, the Defense Department, the Air Force and CIA participated. A review of the recent discussions in Geneva and of the specific proposals contained in the joint Dryden-Blagonravov memorandum resulted in agreement to proceed as follows:

1. After a reasonable interval and if no serious objections have been raised by any of the interested agencies, Dr. Dryden will inform Professor Blagonravov that we have no changes to suggest in their joint memorandum./5/ (The memorandum provided for a two-month waiting period during which either party could propose changes.)

/5/On July 9 Dryden sent a letter to Blagonravov, informing him that he had no changes to suggest in the text of the Summary, that Congressmen George P. Miller and James G. Fulton had been added to the list of U.S. advisers, and that a selection process for the U.S. members of the joint working groups was being devised. (NASA Historical Reference Collection, Folder 003296, US-USSR Peaceful Uses Outer Space, 1962)

2. Upon notification from Professor Blagonravov that the Soviets do not desire changes which would be unacceptable to us (or at the conclusion of the two-month waiting period), we will, assuming the Soviets still wish to proceed, exchange notes with the Soviet Government to confirm government-level agreement to these proposals.

3. It was suggested that when that agreement has been obtained, you may wish to write to Chairman Khrushchev noting both the agreement to proceed with the specific arrangements at hand and the prospects of further technical discussions on additional topics. A draft of such a letter will be submitted for your approval.

4. Meanwhile, Under Secretary McGhee and Dr. Dryden will report these developments to members of Congress who have a specific interest and responsibility in this field, and the Department will prepare a report to be sent to the Secretary General of the United Nations when formal agreement has been reached with the Soviets.

5. Dr. Dryden will, in cooperation with the interested agencies, proceed now to arrange nominations for US membership in the joint US-Soviet working groups which are to develop the detailed implementation of the meteorological and geomagnetic proposals. These working groups will not, however, be activated until formal agreement has been reached with the Soviet Government.

6. The joint Dryden-Blagonravov memorandum will be treated as Confidential, pending government-level agreement by the Soviets or earlier Soviet public release.

7. After formal agreement has been obtained, Dr. Dryden will arrange directly with Professor Blagonravov for further technical discussions, possibly in Moscow this fall, concerning broader cooperation in communication via satellites and the possibility of cooperation in such of the remaining topics dealt with in your exchange of letters with Chairman Khrushchev as may seem worthwhile to pursue further.

It is our feeling that the present low key, step-by-step approach through informal talks by scientific representatives continues to be the preferable means of moving toward further cooperation and that we should plan to proceed on this basis after government-level agreement has been reached on the specific arrangements already proposed.

George W. Ball


393. National Security Action Memorandum No. 172/1/

Washington, July 18, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Subjects Series, Space Activities, U.S.-U.S.S.R. Space Cooperation, 1961-63, Box 308. Confidential. Copies were sent to the Secretary of Defense, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology, and the Director of Central Intelligence.

Secretary of State

Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Bilateral Talks Concerning US-USSR Cooperation in Outer Space Activities

The President has reviewed the report on the current state of these conversations sent to him by the Under Secretary of State on July 5, 1962./2/

/2/Document 392.

The President concurs in the general approach described in the report and has requested that the responsible agencies proceed to carry out the steps described in paragraphs one through seven of pages three and four.

McGeorge Bundy


394. Memorandum From the Director of the Office of International Scientific Affairs (Rollefson) to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (McGhee)/1/

Washington, October 29, 1962.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, SCI Files: Lot 65 D 473, SP 1-1, International Cooperation, USSR. Confidential. Drafted by Robert F. Packard (ISA), and concurred in by Ambassador at Large Llewellyn E. Thompson. Copies were sent to Thompson, Robert J. Manning (P), Leonard C. Meeker (L), Richard N. Gardner (IO), John C. Guthrie (EUR/SOV), Raymond L. Garthoff (G/PM), George Moffitt (IO/UNP), and Arnold Frutkin (NASA). The date of this memorandum was changed by hand from October 25 to October 29.

Bilateral Cooperation with the USSR in Outer Space Activities

Last week we received notification from the Soviets accepting the technical proposals for cooperative projects in outer space activity which had been worked out between Dr. Dryden and Academician Blagonravov last June. This notification was in the form of a note dated October 12 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to our Embassy in Moscow (Tab A)/2/ and a letter dated October 12 to Mr. Webb as Administrator of NASA from M.V. Keldysh, President of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (Tab B)./3/

/2/Not printed. In the note the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed the Embassy that, on September 13 Academician A. A. Blagonravov had informed NASA Representative Frutkin of Soviet approval of the recommendations. Their meeting took place during a session of the UN Committee on the Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes.

/3/Not printed. In the letter, Keldysh informed Webb that the Soviet Union considered the agreement to have entered into effect and that Soviet scientists were ready to implement it.

It was agreed within the Department (in consultation with Ambassador Thompson, Mr. Davis, and Mr. Garthoff on behalf of Deputy Under Secretary Johnson) that the note and the letter from Keldysh together constitute an adequate basis of agreement with the USSR for proceeding with the projects proposed by Dryden and Blagonravov.

NASA prepared, and we cleared within the Department, a press release to be issued by NASA (Tab C)./4/ The White House has directed, however, that the Government should not make any public statement on these developments at this time. Notwithstanding the White House "Hold" on the press release, the story leaked and appeared in this morning's issue of the Washington Post (Tab D)./5/

/4/Not printed.

/5/Not printed. The story, entitled "Crisis Threatens Plan for Space Cooperation," appeared in the October 25 edition of the Washington Post.

Dr. Dryden has offered to notify the Senate and House Space Committees indicating that you and he would be pleased to discuss the matter personally with members of either Committee, if they should so desire. It seems appropriate that this be done as soon as convenient.

All the agencies who were represented in the several earlier meetings which you held on this subject have been notified.

NASA, as the agency responsible for proceeding with these projects on behalf of the U.S. Government, will when appropriate make arrangements directly with the Soviet Academy or Blagonravov for meetings of the technical working groups which will develop the detailed arrangements for proceeding with these projects.

You will recall that, at the meeting on this subject which you chaired in mid-June, it was agreed that the President might write to Chairman Khrushchev noting both the agreement to proceed with the specific projects at hand and the prospects of further technical discussions on additional topics. The President was so informed in a memorandum of July 5 from the Acting Secretary (Tab E)./6/ It seems to us now that this need not, and should not be done.

/6/Document 392.

The remaining step will be for Mr. Cleveland, at an appropriate time, to inform the UN Outer Space Committee of these developments through the Acting Secretary General.

These are the steps which were agreed at your meeting on June 15 and were reported to the President on July 5.


If you agree, I will see to it that they are taken as soon as it seems appropriate to Ambassador Thompson and Assistant Secretaries Tyler and Cleveland to do so., i.e.:

1. That the Senate and House Space Committees be notified by Dr. Dryden as soon as the White House withdraws its "Hold" on the NASA press release.

2. That NASA proceed to arrange with the Soviet Academy and Professor Blagonravov the steps to get underway the specific projects which have been agreed.

3. That the UN Outer Space Committee be informed through the Acting Secretary General of the United Nations.

4. That the White House (Mr. Bundy) be notified that, subject to his concurrence, we do not believe a letter on this subject from the President to Premier Khrushchev is necessary or appropriate at this time./7/

/7/A handwritten note at the end of the memorandum indicates that McGhee approved all four recommendations on October 31.


395. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (McGhee) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, December 7, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, NSAM 129, U.S.-USSR Space Cooperation, Box 334. Official Use Only.

Bilateral Cooperation with the USSR in Outer Space Activities

As you know the Secretary General of the United Nations was informed today in a joint memorandum from Ambassadors Stevenson and Zorin of the agreement which has been reached between the Soviets and ourselves to cooperate in three outer space projects (the Dryden-Blagonravov proposals). That memorandum appended copies of the technical agreement reached between Dryden and Blagonravov at Geneva in early June (Tab B), copies of the correspondence exchanged in October between Mr. Webb and M. V. Keldysh, President of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (Tabs C and D), copies of the notes exchanged between our embassy in Moscow and the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs in August and October (Tabs E and F)./2/

/2/For the June 8 agreement, see footnote 3, Document 392. The correspondence and notes are printed in Department of State Bulletin, December 24, 1962, pp. 963-965.

I understand that yesterday afternoon Deputy Assistant Secretary Gardner spoke to you by phone to point out that the release of this correspondence--particularly Webb's letter to Keldysh of October 30--would have the effect of committing the United States to proceed directly with the implementation of these proposals, and that you agreed to the release on that understanding.

Accordingly Dr. Dryden proposes to send to Blagonravov a letter (Tab A) suggesting that they proceed now with the steps called for in their technical agreement. We find the letter entirely satisfactory and see no reason why it should not be sent. I am suggesting to Dr. Dryden that he do so on Friday or early next week./3/

/3/The letter at Tab A, not printed, is dated December 5. On December 10 Bundy replied that Dryden's letter appeared "entirely satisfactory," and he agreed that Dryden should proceed with the next steps of the technical agreement. Charles E. Johnson of the NSC Staff indicated his agreement in a separate memorandum of the same date. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, NSAM 129, U.S.-USSR Space Cooperation, Box 334) The final text of the letter is dated December 11. (Ibid.)

George C. McGhee


396. Telegram From the Embassy in Italy to the Department of State/1/

Rome, March 12, 1963, 8 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1960-63, SP 1-1 US-USSR. Limited Official Use. Repeated to Moscow.

1831. Department pass NASA and USIA. After welcome by Ambassador Kozyrev in his office at 9:30 both groups consisting of US Delegates Dryden, Stelter, Hornig, Burnett, Porter, Frutkin, Tepper, Malone, Townsend, Johnson, Butler, and Soviet Delegates Blagonravov, Kalinin, Evseyev, Bugayev, Milovidov, Stashevskiy, Klokov, Talyzin, Krupin, and Kolokatov and Ramberg of two Embassies, met in Orangerie for general discussion of program on weather satellites and communication links for data exchange./2/ After hour of general discussion decided to separate into two groups, one on weather satellites and other on adequate communication links for transfer satellite data. During recess Blagonravov reiterated invitation of Ambassador for meeting at Ambassador's summer residence Via Aurelia Antica 12 beginning Thursday morning./3/ Dryden agreed meet there Thursday and suggested deciding at end of meeting whether or not continue meeting there Friday or return Via Abruzzi 25 closer to Chanceries' facilities. Group on weather satellites started meeting 10:45 with following attending: Dryden, Hornig, Tepper, Burnett, Townsend, Butler, Johnson, Malone, Bugayev, Evseyev and Milovidov. Group on communication links consisting of Stelter, Porter, Frutkin, Blagonravov, Klokov, Stashevskiy, Krupin, Talyzin met at same time for detailed discussion.

/2/On January 7 Blagonravov suggested to Dryden that the working groups meet in Rome before the conference of the Committee of the "International Year of the Quiet Sun." On January 21 Dryden proposed a preliminary meeting in March at the U.S. Embassy in Rome. In February they agreed to hold the first meeting at the Embassy on March 11, the second at a location of Blagonravov's choosing the next day, and the third at the Embassy. (Ibid.)

/3/The meeting took place on March 14.

Discussions were amicable frequently developing into simultaneous give and take conversation, mostly in English, between various delegates to clarify difficult technical points.

In general discussion Soviets emphasized initiating data exchange with conventional data. Dryden made clear US requirement communications link be used primarily for satellite data, that link should be established no earlier than few months in advance availability Soviet satellite data, this interval being provided for test and shakedown purposes. In group discussions Soviets generally agreeable US proposals for character of data, communication link and terminal equipment. Decision for groups to recess and draft summary of discussions to date.

Questions outstanding are date of availability Soviet satellite data and routing of communication link. Bugayev stated such data available December 1963 on experimental but not operational basis. Again, no overt or legal issues raised.

Two groups to meet jointly Via Abruzzi 25 Wednesday morning 9:30.



397. Telegram From the Embassy in Italy to the Department of State/1/

Rome, March 15, 1963, 7 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1960-63, SP 1-1 US-USSR. Limited Official Use. Repeated to Moscow.

1858. Department pass NASA, USIA, and FCC. Joint meeting summer residence 6 PM yesterday attended by Dryden, Frutkin, Hornig, Townsend, Malone, Tepper, Stelter, Porter, Burton, Johnson, Burnett, Blagonravov, Klokov, Bugayev, Evseyev, Milovieov, Stashevskiy, Krupin, Talyzin and interpreters Edmundson, Pavlov, Ustinov. Meeting devoted to comparison Russian and English texts on meteorological program. Minor changes style resulted. Statement on implementation this program put aside till all statements ready when they will be incorporated in single document subject to review and exception within 60 days.

Meetings resumed Via Abruzzi 9:30 Friday morning with communication satellite and geomagnetism groups meeting separate rooms.

Communication satellite meeting attended by Dryden, Jaffe, Mazur, Porter, Hornig, Siry, Stelter, Klokov, Stashevskiy, Krupin, Talyzin with Ustinov, Sawicki, interpreting. At meeting US Delegation gave USSR Delegation technical information in writing covering expected characteristics Echo II satellite and radio equipment at Goonhilly Downs, and presented proposed draft agreement which provides for communication experiments between USSR and UK on 162 MC and for demonstration between USSR and USA using Echo as "part of link." Draft also calls for consideration both sides of communication experiments USSR to UK at higher frequencies in addition to or instead of 162 MC. Soviet Delegation refrained from substantive comment on draft but agreed make comments Saturday morning. Questions of higher frequencies regarded by them as "delicate" because of forthcoming ITU meeting.

Meeting adjourned 11:30 to be resumed 9:30 Saturday morning summer residence.

Geomagnetism meeting attended by Cahill, Frutkin, Townsend, Heppner, Cain, Vestine, Kalinin, Blagonravov, Milovidov, with Edmundson, Pavlov interpreting. Meeting considered US paper. USSR reluctant to promise elliptical or polar orbit, to separate out instrumental and positional errors, to hold to minimal observational error recommended by IUGG, or to agree direct exchange raw data. However, general agreement indicated on over-lapping orbits in time and space, provision for launch US and USSR satellites within same three month period, adequate indication over-all data error, extensive exchange important ground observations, and absolute magnetometer instrumentation. New USSR draft due Monday. Meeting adjourned around need to reconvene Via Abruzzi 9 AM Monday.



398. Telegram From the Mission in Geneva to the Department of State/1/

Geneva, May 16, 1963, 11 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1960-63, SP 1-1 US-USSR. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to USUN.

1440. For Frutkin NASA. Outer Space Bilaterals. At first meeting today Blagonravov stated Soviet Academy had not yet approved Rome memo of understanding,/2/ wishing to await inclusion of geomagnetic portion. Handed Dryden following statement:

/2/See Document 400.

Begin Verbatim Text.

The Delegation of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, appointed to continue bilateral negotiations between NASA of the USA and the Academy of Sciences of the USSR on questions of magnetic survey by means of artificial earth satellites, has been authorized by the Academy of Sciences of the USSR to announce the following change in the text of the recommendations agreed upon in Rome:

In Section VI, the period of coming into effect, instead of the words: "In a two-months period beginning from today" to insert the words: "In the shortest possible time after the completion of negotiations on the conduct of a world magnetic survey by means of artificial satellites."

Academician A. Blagonravov

End Verbatim Text.

Turning immediately to geomagnetic question, Kalinin said he had reviewed whole matter with colleagues in Moscow and concluded their Rome position sound. Proposed, therefore, that satellite data be exchanged in form most useful and economical of each sides' time and effort, i.e., in scientific reports and articles with data processed by experimenter from whose satellite they came. Since both sides had equal interest in success of venture, this should be satisfactory. Proposed prior agreement on recommendations for procedures for correcting data.

We will probe Soviet position more fully tomorrow after reviewing Kalinin's prepared statement. Geomagneticians meeting at 10, to be joined by principals at noon. We intend review in detail our plans for data handling and processing in order make absolutely clear reasons for our position on need for raw data.

After meeting, Stashevsky handed DelOff without comment copy letter "which was mailed today to Dryden." Our translation follows:

Begin Verbatim Text.

Dear Dr. Dryden:

In accordance with our understanding in Rome, I have informed the authorities of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR of the recommendations pertaining to certain questions of cooperation in the field of space research between the Academies of Sciences of the USSR and NASA which we had agreed upon.

The above-mentioned recommendations have been carefully studied. I have not been successful, however, in obtaining their definite approval prior to my departure for Geneva. Our Academy attaches great importance to the fact that during our meeting in Rome we had not succeeded in reaching an agreement on questions of cooperation in the conduct of a world magnetic survey by means of satellites even though, in our opinion, rather good possibilities exist for such an agreement.

Very recently some discouraging results have also come to light concerning negotiations held last April in New York on the legal problems of space. Under these circumstances, it seems necessary to think over once more in detail the entire problem as a whole, since, as you understand, the legal and scientific-technical problems of space cooperation are, at the present time, closely linked together by life itself.

Upon my return from Geneva I shall once again bring up the question of approval of the Rome recommendations to the authorities of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, taking also into consideration results of negotiations which we hope shall be continued here in Geneva.


Academician A. Blagonravov

Geneva, May 16, 1963.

End Verbatim Text.

Also present from USSR were Dr. Peter Evseev, Dr. Nicolai Talizin and interpreter from local Mission.



399. Telegram From the Mission in Geneva to the Department of State/1/

Geneva, May 27, 1963, 9 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1960-63, SP 1-1 US-USSR. Limited Official Use.

1525. For Frutkin NASA. Outer Space Bilateral. At final meeting May 24 Dryden and Blagonravov exchanged English and Russian texts of geomagnetism agreement reported Mission tel 1453/2/ with editorial changes: In numbered para 8 "an attachment" should read "attachments" and word "survey" following thereafter should be plural. In para 9 final clause first sentence should read "and of analysis of the results."

/2/Not printed. (Ibid.)

As reported telcon with NASA,/3/ Blagonravov stated he had tried unsuccessfully to obtain agreement on all three areas of agreement prior Friday's mtg./4/ But Soviet Academy had said in view of internal problems in Academy they wished have personal report by Blagonravov prior to acting. He felt two weeks would be sufficient for Academy review and that approval might come during time of COSPAR mtg. In lieu of signed covering statement as reported reftel, Blagonravov proposed exchange of letters, noting each side would refer matter back home for review, and referring to earlier agreement that Section VI of Rome memo be amended to provide notification of any changes "in shortest possible time after conclusion" geomagnetic discussion here. Was agreed that new geomagnetic text should replace Para IV in Rome text. He obviously instructed handle this in low key and avoid implication of anything beyond completion of job begun in Rome.

/3/No other record of this telephone conversation has been found.

/4/May 24.

Texts of letters follow:

May 24, 1963

Dear Dr. Dryden:

During our meeting last May 16, I informed you, on the instruction of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR of the following changes in the text of the recommendations we had agreed upon in Rome: In Section VI, the period of coming into force, instead of the words "in a two-month period beginning with today" to put in the words "in the shortest possible time after the conclusion of discussions concerning the conduct of a world magnetic survey by means of artificial satellites."

As I had already informed you in my letter of May 16, 1963,/5/ in connection with the conclusion of our negotiations in Geneva, I shall, upon my return to Moscow, inform the Academy of Sciences of the USSR of the mutual understanding we have reached on the question of a magnetic survey by means of artificial earth satellites. The decision of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR on this question shall be communicated to NASA of the United States of America according to the arrangements concerning the recommendations we had agreed upon in Rome.

/5/See Document 398.

Academician A. Blagonravov

May 24, 1963

Dear Academician Blagonravov:

The proposal of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, which you communicated to me on May 16, to make certain changes in Section VI of the recommendations we made in Rome, is accepted. In Section VI the words "in a two-month period beginning with today are replaced by "in the shortest possible time after the conclusion of discussions concerning the conduct of a world magnetic survey by means of artificial satellites."

At our meeting today we exchanged English and Russian texts of the mutual understanding we have reached on the question of a magnetic survey by means of earth satellites, which completes our discussion of this question begun in Rome and reported in Paragraph IV of the Rome recommendations. On my return, I will report this recommendation to NASA and inform you promptly of our decision on acceptance.

Hugh L. Dryden



400. Editorial Note

The Memorandum of Understanding between NASA and the Soviet Academy of Sciences on implementation of a cooperative space program, drafted at Rome in March 1963 and at Geneva in May 1963, was made public by NASA on August 16, after an exchange of letters between Dryden and Blagonravov. For text of the Memorandum of Understanding and the NASA announcement, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1963, pages 1069-1080. For text of the July 8 letter from Dryden and the August 16 letter from Blagonravov indicating Soviet readiness to proceed with implementation of the agreement, see Department of State Bulletin, September 9, 1963, page 405.


401. Memorandum Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency/1/

Washington, July 31, 1963.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Departments and Agencies Series, Space Activities, U.S.-USSR Cooperation, 1961-63, Box 308. Confidential. The memorandum gives no addressee and is unsigned, but is attached to a covering memorandum from Cline to Bundy, which reads: "1. Mr. McCone and I think you may be interested in the attached memorandum. 2. The President of the USSR Academy of Sciences has suggested that an international program be launched for an early-manned lunar landing mission. The memorandum summarizes and comments on his suggestions, forwarded to Hugh Dryden of NASA in a letter from Sir Bernard Lovell following the latter's visit to the USSR. 3. We have made no distribution of this memorandum."

Soviet Views on Future Space Operations

Dr. Hugh Dryden of NASA has received a letter, date 23 July 1963, from Sir Bernard Lovell, Director of the Jodrell Bank Radio-astronomical observatory, forwarding the suggestions of Matislav Keldysh, President of the Academy of Sciences USSR./2/

/2/See footnote 3, Document 404.

During his talks with Lovell, Keldysh suggested that plans for an early manned lunar landing should be developed on an international basis. Keldysh claimed that Soviet scientists had rejected any manned lunar landing mission for the time being because of the hazards of solar flares, the tremendous launch propulsion requirements, and the ability of unmanned instrumented probes to solve the scientific problems involved in lunar exploration more cheaply and quickly.

Lovell concluded during his conversations with Keldysh that decisions had been made by the Soviets to continue instrumented probes to Mars, Venus, and the moon; that the apparatus for a soft landing of instruments on the moon will be ready for launch in a matter of months; and that rendezvous and docking techniques would be developed "with an immediate aim (perhaps 1965-66)" of establishing a manned space platform for astronomical observations. Lovell also forwarded the details of a cooperative program arranged between Jodrell Bank and the Deep Space Tracking Center at Yevpatoriya, which he visited during his recent trip to the USSR.

We believe that the proposal submitted by Keldysh--that a manned lunar enterprise be considered on an international basis-is another step in a Soviet move to internationalize manned lunar exploration. This step closely coincides with one taken during an early July 1963 meeting of the Executive Committee of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in Liege, Belgium. According to a US scientist, V.A. Ambartsumyam--a member of the Academy of Sciences USSR and President of the IAU--told foreign scientists that both he and Keldysh are of the opinion that any attempted manned flight to the moon should be deferred at this time in favor of deep space probes. He stated that the potential scientific results that might be obtained from a manned lunar mission do not justify the great expenses necessary to achieve it.


402. Letter From the Deputy Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Dryden) to the Chairman of the Commission on Exploration and Utilization of Outer Space, Academy of Sciences of the USSR (Blagonravov)/1/

Washington, August 23, 1963.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, SCI Files: Lot 65 D 473, SP 1-1, International Cooperation, USSR. No classification marking. Drafted by D.R. Morris (AI) on August 23, and concurred in by Morris, Dillery (D/S), Homer E. Newell (S), Townsend (G), Morris Tepper (FM), and Leonard Jaffe (FC).

Dear Academician Blagonravov:

I am glad to have your letter of August 1 conveying the consent of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR to the Memorandum of Understanding completed by us on May 24 in Geneva./2/ With the Memorandum in force, we can now proceed to implement the program set forth in the bilateral agreement of June 8, 1962./3/

/2/See Document 400.

/3/See footnote 3, Document 392.

The following matters require the earliest possible action if the program is to proceed according to the agreed time schedule:

(1) Section II.D of the Memorandum provides that NASA and the Academy of Sciences of the USSR are to agree upon a suitable mechanism for equal sharing of the costs of the meteorological communications link, and are to designate representatives to carry out continued technical coordination of details concerning this link. In my letter of April 15, I proposed an arrangement whereby the General Post Office of the United Kingdom would be asked to act as the collection and disbursing agent for all charges relating to the Washington-Moscow link./4/ If my proposal as set forth in that letter is acceptable, agreement on this matter should be reached as soon as possible and consultations begun immediately with U.K. authorities.

/4/The April 15 letter was not found.

(2) We hope to receive your designation of a Soviet counterpart to Mr. Laverne R. Stelter, Head of the NASA Communications Division at the Goddard Space Flight Center, whom I designated in my letter of April 18 as the NASA technical representative for coordination of details concerning the link./5/ An early meeting between the two representatives must be arranged. It should be borne in mind that the common carriers involved between Washington and Berlin require 30 days advance notice before the establishment of an operational link.

/5/The April 18 letter was not found.

(3) Aside from the technical details of the communications link itself, there will be details relating to the data and information to be transmitted which will require coordination. I suggest you designate a central point of contact in the USSR with whom Dr. Morris Topper, Chairman of the US Working Group on Meteorology, may correspond concerning such matters.

(4) Mr. Leonard Jaffe, whom I designated in my April 18 letter as the NASA representative for technical coordination of the planned communications experiments with Echo II, has reported that his meeting in the United Kingdom with Dr. Chetmantshev and Zhulin in late May left several questions unresolved. Those were set forth, I understand, in a memorandum prepared on May 28 by Dr. Chetmantshev and the UK representatives, Mr. Taylor and Dr. Davies./6/ In order to permit adequate preparation and planning for the experiments, it is necessary to schedule a meeting as soon as possible between Mr. Jaffe and Soviet technical representatives knowledgeable about the communications aspects of the proposed experiments to decide on details, particularly with regard to questions of frequency and plans for transmissions from Gorki. In this case also, we hope to receive your designation of a Soviet counterpart to Mr. Jaffe.

/6/The May 28 memorandum was not found.

(5) Section III.C of the Memorandum of Understanding raises the possibility of extending the tests with Echo II into the microwave region of the frequency spectrum and also of arranging radar and optical observations by the USSR of the Echo II satellite during the period of its inflation and thereafter. Please advise us of the results of your consideration of these two possibilities, both of which appear highly desirable to NASA.

(6) With regard to the magnetic field survey, the Memorandum of Understanding foresees the exchange of ground observations from various observatories in the US and the USSR, as well as of data from ground, sea, and aerial surveys. Would it not be most practical for the experimenters in each country to correspond directly concerning such matters? If this appears to be a suitable arrangement, please designate a central point of contact in the USSR for such correspondence.

Possibly, we shall meet again in New York in September during the meeting of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Meanwhile, I shall look forward to hearing from you concerning the immediate questions raised above.

Sincerely yours,

Hugh L. Dryden/7/

/7/Printed from a copy that indicates Dryden signed the original.


403. Memorandum From the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (Sisco) to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (Gardner)/1/

Washington, September 3, 1963.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1960-63, UN 3 GA. Confidential. Drafted by R. McKelvey (IO/UNP) on August 30.

Outer Space Problems in the Proposed GA Speech

I. Concrete Proposals for Cooperation in Outer Space

A) Cooperative Studies on the Medical Aspects of Manned Space Flight

1. Description. The U.S. and USSR might agree to exchange complete data on the post-flight examinations of their astronauts in an effort to compile the maximum amount of information on the effects of space flight on man as rapidly and economically as possible.

2. History

a. Suggested as possible Presidential offer to Khrushchev for Vienna meeting, 1961./2/

/2/A background paper, dated May 25, 1961, prepared by the State Department in preparation for the meeting, suggested that Khrushchev might revive "some earlier US proposal on bilateral cooperation in scientific or medical endeavors (though probably not in the exploration of outer space)." See Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. V, Document 76.

b. Firm offer by U.S. to USSR to "pool our efforts and exchange our knowledge in the field of space medicine" in Kennedy letter to Khrushchev, March 7, 1962./3/

/3/See ibid., vol. VI, Document 41.

c. Khrushchev reply, March 20, 1962, notes: "I can say that Soviet scientists are prepared to cooperate in this and to exchange data. . ."/4/

/4/See ibid., Document 43.

d. Space medicine was not one of the subjects that Soviets were prepared to discuss in context of Dryden-Blagonravov talks although it was proposed by the U.S.

e. The Secretary raised the possibility of cooperation in space medicine during his talks in Moscow.

3. Cost. If limited to exchange of data, the costs would be small. If joint experimentation was involved, however, costs could be much larger according to the extent of the program, but the value for money should be good since Soviets would pay half presumably.

B) Cooperative Tracking of Flights

1. Description. This arrangement could take several forms. It might include a tracking station with U.S. equipment on Soviet territory run by specially trained Soviet personnel with a similar Soviet station here. Or it could be limited to exchange of information from existing tracking facilities. Cooperative tracking could cover manned flights to increase the safety of the astronauts, deep space probes, specially agreed flights, or all flights.

2. History

a. President Kennedy's letter to Khrushchev of March 7, 1962 suggested the establishment of a tracking station with U.S. equipment on Soviet territory run by specially trained Soviet personnel and a similar Soviet station here.

b. Chairman Khrushchev replied cautiously (March 20, 1962) that a joint program of observation would be of value, but he mentioned it only in the context of deep space and lunar probes.

c. Sir Bernard Lovell, Director of the Jodrell Bank Observatory, recently negotiated an agreement with the Soviets for "an extension of our cooperative work with the Soviet Union in the tracking of lunar and deep space probes." The agreement appears to be limited to a more rapid and more complete exchange of data. A British offer to accommodate a small number of Soviet scientists at Jodrell Bank to track probes is apparently being considered by the USSR. (Two Soviet scientists came to Jodrell Bank in June 1961 to search for signals from the Venus probe.)

3. Cost. The extent of the program agreed would determine the costs. Exchange of information or observers would cost little; establishment of a tracking station and equipment could involve $5-$10 million expenditure.

C) Network of Earth and Space-Based Observatories

1. Description. Several types of programs could be involved. A cooperative program of observation from earth would be of great value since study of the same event from different angles improves the results obtained. Observation from space might include one nation providing technical equipment and the other putting it into orbit much as the U.S. has done with experimental equipment of its allies. A cooperative program might be negotiated to launch a space platform for extended observations from space.

2. History

a. Both the Kennedy and Khrushchev letters contain references along the lines of "cooperation to unlock the secrets of the universe" but no concrete programs were put forward.

b. The Lovell agreement includes a three point program for joint observation between the UK and the USSR on flare star radio emission, bi-static radar observations, and study of angular diameters and structure of radio sources.

3. Cost. The cost of a program would be governed by the projects involved. Exchange of information or observers would cost little. If an intensive program were agreed upon, including the establishment of new observation facilities on earth or extensive satellite launchings, the cost could be considerable. Language problems and resolution of technical details in construction might raise the total cost above that of a single nation's program.

D) Cooperative Program of Space Exploration by Instruments and Men

1. Description. This proposal could be as limited as an exchange of information from instrument probes of space or it could be as extensive as joint unmanned landings on the lunar surface or, perhaps, joint flights by Soviet and American astronauts.

2. History

a. The Kennedy letter of March 7, 1962 spells out a far reaching program of space research as a hypothetical example of the type of cooperation the U.S. and the USSR might someday achieve. He specifically mentions an unmanned lunar landing and probes of Venus and Mars and even suggests the "possible utility of manned flight in such programs."

b. Khrushchev's reply (March 20, 1962) speaks in general terms about the need for extensive cooperation in space experiments.

3. Cost. The cost for an extensive joint program might exceed the total costs of a U.S. program alone due to the problems of language and achieving joint technical specifications in production.

Problem: There is little disagreement that increased and improved cooperation with the Soviet Union on outer space matters, including the four issues noted above, is in the best interests of the U.S. Government. NASA and others have pointed out, however, that mentioning these and other specific items in the GA speech may not further this end. Some of the reasons cited are:

1. As the speech is worded, there is an implication that the three offers represent a new initiative by the U.S. when in fact they have all been put forward in one form or another previously and have not been picked up by the USSR.

2. By repeating these offers we are, in effect, asking the Soviets to cooperate on something we know they have let pass before. At the extreme this might be misinterpreted as a cold war tactic of "offering the unacceptable" to win favor with world opinion. We do not want to return the cold war to an area that has been so painstakingly defrosted.

3. Usually, these negotiations have been conducted bilaterally with a minimum of publicity. Dr. Dryden of NASA has recently written to Mr. Keldysh of the Soviet Academy to reopen the dialogue and seek new areas of agreement. NASA is reluctant to mention specific items, especially points to which the Soviets have not responded previously, when a general offer of cooperation has been made. Further, they are especially reluctant to do this in a public and multi-lateral forum when a private and bilateral suggestion has been made.

4. Some of these proposals create serious problems at the present time. Medical data: the U.S. has published its data and we have little to trade with the Soviets until the next manned flight 18 months away. Tracking: the Soviets are reluctant to engage in any operations that will reveal their tracking capabilities. Their hedging on the geomagnetic data and delayed response to the Echo II experiments are cases in point. Moreover, the U.S. tracking facilities are carrying a heavy load and we have been discouraging requests from ESRO to track for them when their program is operational. A UN offer might bring requests from our allies as well as the Soviets that we cannot fill. Space-based observatories: our platform requires sophisticated techniques that we do not wish to reveal for security reasons, although this problem probably might be overcome if an agreement with the Soviets seemed possible.

5. An important question of policy should be decided. Are we prepared actively to seek new agreements with the Soviets before we have lived within the present agreements for some time?

Proposal: Presuming a favorable response to point 5 above, the President should convey to the Soviets and the General Assembly the strong desire of the U.S. Government to seek further agreement on projects of mutual benefit. He could note the specific projects as suggestions to revive discussion, not as new initiatives. Suggested language follows:

"As you know, Premier Khrushchev and I corresponded last year about a number of projects in outer space on which mutual agreement might be possible. Among them were the three projects on which we now have a signed agreement.

"I hope these three items will be but the first of a growing list of joint efforts--that we can search out other specific projects. We might begin, perhaps, with proposals which Premier Khrushchev and I discussed in our correspondence, such as cooperative studies of space medicine and cooperative tracking of manned flights and space probes. An additional example would be a cooperative network of observation stations on earth and in space to help us to unlock the secrets of the universe. Exploration of outer space, first by instruments and eventually by man, is a task of such challenge and magnitude that common sense dictates the maximum degree of cooperation that we can achieve. What I wish to convey to this Assembly is my government's genuine and earnest desire to explore with the Soviet Union and other countries any projects that will promote the interests and progress of man in space."/5/

/5/Regarding the speech President Kennedy delivered to the General Assembly, see footnote 2, Document 406.

II. Space Law

A second outer space problem in the speech relates to the statement: "Let us embody them [legal principles on which there is agreement]/6/ in a declaration of Space Law at this Assembly." If we have reached an arrangement with the Soviet Union in the bi-lateral negotiations, then this statement poses no problem. If not, then a decision must be made whether to seek a GA resolution. Our present position as stated in the strategy paper is that:

/6/Brackets in the source text.

". . . the United States should consider putting forward such a Declaration in the Assembly and pressing it to a vote even without Soviet support, although we would have to weigh carefully the risks that this might open up debate on such matters as a ban on all military uses of space."


404. Memorandum for the Record/1/

Washington, September 17, 1963.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1960-63, SP 10 US/USSR. Confidential. Dryden forwarded the memorandum under cover of a memorandum of the same date to U. Alexis Johnson, with copies to McGeorge Bundy and the Director of the President's Office of Science and Technology. Assistant Secretary Cleveland forwarded the memorandum and attached correspondence under cover of a September 30 memorandum to Under Secretary Ball.

Luncheon with Academician Blagonravov in New York, September 11, 1963

The objective of the luncheon was to discuss with Academician Blagonravov the plans and progress within the Soviet Academy of Sciences for implementation of the agreement recently signed for cooperation in meteorological satellites, passive communications experiments, and magnetic field survey. Those present at the luncheon were Academician A. Blagonravov, Mr. G.S. Stashevsky, Dr. Hugh L. Dryden and Mr. Arnold Frutkin from NASA, and Peter Thatcher from the U.S. United Nations Mission in New York.

I first asked how things were going with regard to the implementation of the agreement. Blagonravov replied that he was having some difficulty with the Soviet Ministry of Communications, who had been so busily occupied with the "hot line" between the Kremlin and the White House that they had not yet undertaken to deal with the problems of the communication link for exchange of cloud pictures as provided in our negotiations. My letter of August 23rd,/2/ which outlined the next steps as we foresaw them and gave names of NASA representatives who were prepared to proceed with the discussions and detailed planning in specific areas, had not yet been received, since Blagonravov left Moscow early in September. I gave Blagonravov a copy of my letter of August 23rd, and he read it without detailed comment except to again refer to his problems with the Ministry of Communications. I requested him to move as rapidly as procedures within the Academy permitted and said that we were prepared to move as fast as he could.

/2/Document 402.

I then congratulated him on his appointment as Chairman of the Commission on the Exploration and Utilization of Outer Space, as successor to Federov, who has become Chief of the Hydro Meteorological Service.

I then asked Blagonravov whether he was present at the Lovell discussion, and he replied "no, that he couldn't be there."

We then discussed the problems of the manned lunar program as outlined in the Lovell letter,/3/ which had to be solved in advance of the lunar landing. These included the radiation and other problems. Blagonravov stated that these were problems which had to be solved as a basis for the manned program. Although there was some intimation in the way in which this was said that he might be thinking of solving these problems first before proceeding with the manned lunar project, I do not think that concurrent action was excluded by the language used. He mentioned specifically that rocket power was not a problem, but in the context of this exchange and others which occurred later I interpret this to mean that there are no unknown problems in rocket technology similar to the radiation and weightlessness problems in outer space. We shall return to this subject later.

/3/On July 23 Sir Bernard Lovell, Director of the Jodrell Bank Radio Observatory in England, sent a letter to Dryden describing a visit that he had made to Soviet observatories between June 25 and July 15, as a guest of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Soviet scientists had told Lovell that while they wanted to establish a manned orbiting observatory, they did not believe that a manned flight to the moon would be practicable in the near future. They also said that international cooperation would help determine how the technical problems might be overcome and what scientific tasks would require a human presence on the moon. Dryden was on vacation when Lovell's letter arrived, so NASA Administrator Webb responded on his behalf in an August 6 letter. Webb suggested to Lovell that Dryden and Blagonravov might explore these matters within the context of the agreement between NASA and the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Both letters are attached to this memorandum.

We then referred to Lovell's account of the Keldysh discussion of "why go to the moon" which was said to be occurring within the Soviet Academy of Sciences. It is my impression from the brief discussion that there are factions within the Soviet Academy who have been discussing the reasons for and against going to the moon. Especially there are scientists in the Soviet Union, as in the U.S., who wish a greater emphasis on science. At one point Blagonravov raised his chin and stated that he personally was the champion of the manned lunar program. As the translator spoke the word "champion," Blagonravov became slightly uneasy and said that perhaps he had not chosen his words very well, that he was a "supporter" of the manned lunar program. I gained the impression that there is a temporary hold in the manned lunar program pending the attainment of soft landing of instruments on the moon. Blagonravov stated that "Lovell's statement (i.e., that there was a temporary hold in the lunar program) might be true as of today."

I advanced the view that it was not necessary to use Lovell as a channel to convey Soviet desires to the U.S., and Blagonravov seemed to agree with this observation. He went so far as to state that it might be advisable for the Blagonravov/Dryden groups to have discussions later of the possibility of cooperation in manned lunar exploration after instrumented landings on the moon had been made. This is a real change from previous discussions in which he had taken the point of view that there was no use in discussing cooperation in this area because of the political climate.

I offered to answer questions with regard to our own program. He seemed to know the names of most of the projects and was particularly interested in Ranger.

We then turned to the subject of the cooperative program on meteorological satellites, and I asked whether the date of mid-1964 would be met for the exchange of pictures. Blagonravov said that he still hoped to meet the mid-64 date, although there were problems. He did not say whether these were technical or political. He did say that "industry" was not greatly interested in meteorological satellites. By industry I assumed he meant those persons who were interested in the exploitation of power development, consumer goods, et cetera, as contrasted with space.

With respect to the lunar landing, he pointed out again that rocket thrust was not a problem, that capsules have to be designed and built. He made the statement that he was satisfied that with Saturn V we could go to the moon. I made every attempt to find out whether he felt that the present Soviet booster capacity would enable lunar missions. He did not say that it would or would not, but he again repeated the phrase that present rocket technology would permit going to the moon.

Finally, he supported the suggestion in Lovell's letter, attributed to Keldysh, that there be an international discussion of the desirability of going to the moon. (We have elsewhere noted the disadvantages of such discussions from our own point of view.)

In summary, I believe that the Russians as well as we are having discussions on the value of manned lunar landing. I think it would be very dangerous to interpret what was said by Blagonravov at this luncheon as indicating that the Russians in fact had no lunar program but were just now discussing the possibility of beginning one. I do not believe that the manned lunar program is under the direction or control of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Quite to the contrary, I am convinced that it is a program originated and operated by the military. Therefore we must be very cautious in interpreting statements which come only from the Soviet Academy of Sciences.

Hugh L. Dryden/4/

/4/Printed from a copy that indicates Dryden signed the original.


405. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Kennedy/1/

Washington, September 18, 1963.

/1/Source: NASA Historical Reference Collection. No classification marking. Also printed in Exploring the Unknown, Volume II: External Relationships, pp. 165-166.

Your 11 a.m. appointment with Jim Webb

Webb called me yesterday to comment on three interconnected aspects of the space problem that he thinks may be of importance in his talk with you:/2/

/2/Webb's meeting with the President took place between 11:30 a.m. and 12:20 p.m. (Kennedy Library, President's Appointment Books.) No record of this meeting has been found.

1. Money. The space authorization is passed at $5,350 billion, and he expects the appropriation to come out at about $5,150 billion. While the estimates are not complete, his current guess is that in early 64 he will require a supplemental of $400 million ($200 million requiring authorization and $200 million appropriation only) in order to keep our commitment to a lunar landing in the 1960's.

2. The Soviets. He reports more forthcoming noises about cooperation from Blagonravov in the UN, and I am trying to run down a report in today's Times (attached) that we have rebuffed the Soviets on this./3/ Webb himself is quite open to an exploration of possible cooperation with the Soviets and thinks that they might wish to use our big rocket, and offer in exchange the advanced technology which they are likely to get in the immediate future. (For example, Webb expects a Soviet landing of instruments on the moon to establish moon-earth communications almost any time.)

/3/Not printed. The article, entitled "U.S. Aide Rebuffs Soviet's Moon Bid," mentioned that Dr. Robert R. Gilruth, Director of NASA's Manned Space Flight Center, had called a joint U.S.-Soviet lunar expedition impractical.

The obvious choice is whether to press for cooperation or to continue to use the Soviet space effort as a spur to our own. The Times story suggests that there is already low-level disagreement on exactly this point.

3. The Military Role. Webb reports that the discontent of the military with their limited role in space damaged the bill on the Hill this year, with no corresponding advantage to the military. He thinks this point can and should be made to the Air Force, and he believes that the thing to do is to offer the military an increased role somehow. He has already had private exploratory talks with Ros Gilpatric for this purpose.

Webb thinks the best place for a military effort in space would be in the design and manning of a space craft in which gravity could be simulated, in preparation for later explorations. He thinks such a space craft may be the next logical step after Gemini. On the other hand, he is quite cool about the use of Titan III and Dinosoar and would be glad to see them both cancelled. You will recall that McNamara has just come out on the other side on Titan III.

My own hasty judgment is that the central question here is whether to compete or to cooperate with the Soviets in a manned lunar landing:

1. If we compete, we should do everything we can to unify all agencies of the United States Government in a combined space program which comes as near to our existing pledges as possible.

2. If we cooperate, the pressure comes off, and we can easily argue that it was our crash effort in '61 and '62 which made the Soviets ready to cooperate.

I am for cooperation if it is possible, and I think we need to make a really major effort inside and outside the government to find out whether in fact it can be done. Conceivably this is a better job for Harriman than East-West trade, which might almost as well be given to George Ball.

McG. B.


406. Letter From the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Johnson) to the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Webb)/1/

Washington, October 14, 1963.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1960-63, SP 10. Confidential. Drafted by Richard F. Packard on October 10 and retyped in S/S-S on October 14.

Dear Jim:

With reference to our conversation on how best to follow up on the President's proposal before the United Nations General Assembly that we should explore the possibilities of cooperation with the Soviets in manned exploration of the moon,/2/ I suggest we should have as clear an understanding of the broad technical and programmatic aspects as is possible at this time.

/2/President Kennedy addressed the 18th UN General Assembly on September 20. During his speech, he suggested that a joint U.S.-Soviet expedition to the moon might be possible. See Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1963, p. 695.

We have as yet not received any official response to the President's proposal, and it seems doubtful that the Soviets will soon bring themselves to face up to the severe security, programmatic and political problems involved in discussing such a joint undertaking. Nonetheless we should be as fully prepared to deal with any response which may be forthcoming from them as we have been throughout the Dryden-Blagonravov discussions to date.

We would therefore appreciate receiving NASA's views as soon as possible. We have in mind, for example, such considerations as the following:

1. What modes of cooperation would be useful? Which would be practicable? Which would be most advantageous from the viewpoint of our national program? Which would appear to be most likely to evoke a constructive response from the Soviets?

2. What significant effects upon our Gemini and Apollo programs should we anticipate? What measure of commitment or diversion of our national program should be entailed?

3. What assurances ought we to require? How could cooperation be developed so as to provide adequate assurances at each significant step before proceeding to the next, or so as to be able to disengage with minimum adverse effects?

4. Should we proceed along the lines already laid out for the Dryden-Blagonravov discussions, or should we proceed on a different basis in this instance?

I would propose that after you have had an opportunity to formulate your views on the foregoing questions and any others that you may consider pertinent, to call a meeting to include other interested agencies at which we would seek to formulate general terms of reference for dealing with any Soviet response.



/3/Printed from a copy that indicates Johnson signed the original.


407. Memorandum From the Deputy Director (Intelligence), Central Intelligence Agency (Cline) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, October 29, 1963.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Departments and Agencies Series, Space Activities, General, 10/63-11/63, Box 308. Secret.

Khrushchev and the Soviet Lunar Program

The Khrushchev Statement on 25 October

1. The reports published in the US press on 27 October stating that Khrushchev has "withdrawn" from the "moon race" not only distorted the import of his actual remarks but conveyed a misleading impression that a major change in Soviet lunar plans had recently taken place./2/

/2/On October 26 Chairman Khrushchev told the Third World Meeting of Journalists in Moscow that the Soviet Union had no plans for a manned flight to the moon, although Soviet scientists were studying the problems involved. See Current Digest of the Soviet Press, Vol. XV, No. 43, p. 19.

2. In reply to a question that had been submitted in advance as to whether a Soviet flight to the moon "is planned for the not too distant future," Khrushchev said, "I cannot at present say when this will be done." He added that the USSR is not "at present planning" such an operation, but indicated that Soviet scientists are working on the problem and that the necessary research is being done." Khrushchev noted that the Americans "want to land a man on the moon by 1970" and wished them success. After saying the Soviets would observe US experience, particularly how the Americans contrive to "return home," Khrushchev indicated that the USSR did not want to compete in "sending people to the moon without careful preparation." He contended that no benefits would be derived from competition which might result in the "destruction of people." He concluded with a statement that "much work will have to be done and good preparations made for a successful flight to the moon by man."

3. This is not the first time that Khrushchev has voiced skepticism regarding the feasibility of a manned lunar landing. Khrushchev's remarks on 25 October bear a close resemblance to views he has expressed over the past two years. In an interview with Cyrus Sulzberger in September 1961, he said the USSR had no fixed schedule and that the problem was not landing a man on the moon but "getting him off again."/3/ Khrushchev told Gardner Cowles in April 1962 that he could "not give any date" for a manned lunar flight and spoke of the "many different problems" and great cost involved in this mission./4/ Khrushchev's remarks last Friday also parallel views deliberately given to Western scientists by Soviet scientific officials earlier this year. These views alleged that Soviet scientists, at least for the time being, regard manned lunar missions as unfeasible.

/3/This interview took place in Moscow on September 5, 1961. See The New York Times, September 8, 1961, p. 1.

/4/This interview took place in Moscow on April 20, 1962. See ibid., April 25, 1962, p. 1.

4. The similarity between Khrushchev's remarks to Sulzberger and Cowles and his statements last Friday casts doubt on the assumption that the Soviet leaders have taken some major decisions in recent weeks affecting the scope or pace of their lunar program. In these interviews, Khrushchev indicated that Soviet scientists were working in this field and that they were encountering many problems. In effect, he attempted to create the impression that the Soviets were not engaged in an extensive high-priority program along the lines, for example, of Project Apollo.

Political Aims

5. Since all the questions answered by Khrushchev in his press conference were submitted in advance, it must be assumed that he had some specific purpose in mind in commenting on the Soviet lunar program at this time. Internally, the Soviet consumer's current situation and prospects are poor, and Khrushchev may have wished to reassure the population that large sums were not being spent in non-productive projects. Externally, one of Khrushchev's main objectives in agreeing to the test ban treaty and encouraging a detente atmosphere in East-West relations is to retard the pace of the arms and technological race, thereby relieving some of the pressures on Soviet resources. Against this background of general Soviet policy, we would interpret Khrushchev's deliberate effort to downgrade the urgency of a manned lunar landing as being aimed at influencing US Congressional and public opinion on the question of the expenditures and pace of the US lunar program. Khrushchev also is making it clear that the Soviet Union is unwilling to allow the United States to set the terms for competition in space.

Scientific and Technical Factors

6. The USSR has been energetically pursuing a space program which includes lunar exploration. However, launch capabilities still depend on the only large boost vehicle so far developed in the USSR. This booster is not powerful enough for manned lunar landing missions, nor can it serve as a building block for such missions.

7. We have not detected development or testing of a larger vehicle. We believe that a larger engine is under development but we do not know whether it will be suitable for a manned lunar landing. In any case, we believe we would know if it were approaching flight testing. Other technical indicators of a high priority lunar landing program are also lacking.

8. At the same time, Soviet efforts to carry out the unmanned space reconnaissance which could relate to a manned lunar landing continue, despite repeated failures.

Economic Factors

9. Khrushchev and other Soviet officials have often expressed concern in the past over the high cost of a manned lunar landing program. In recent years Soviet military and space expenditures have placed a heavy burden on the economy. Moreover, these expenditures have grown at a considerably faster pace than the economy as a whole. The impact has also been severe in terms of competition for high quality manpower and materials. Even though some costly military programs are approaching completion, pursuit of a high-priority manned lunar landing program would aggravate and prolong the present period of serious economic strain in the USSR. Unless the Soviets have made greater technical progress toward a manned lunar landing than we now perceive, we believe that present economic stringencies are a considerable argument against attempting to compete with the US Apollo program.


10. We think that the primary intent of Khrushchev's statement was to change the focus of the space race. Present evidence, while far from conclusive, suggests that the USSR is not now trying to land a man on the moon in advance of the Apollo program. If this is so, then Khrushchev is trying to discount this American achievement in advance, and perhaps delay it as well, while intending to sustain Soviet prestige with a series of earlier, less expensive but still spectacular projects, such as the orbiting of a manned space station and a manned circumlunar flight.

Ray S. Cline


408. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant for Science and Technology (Wiesner) to President Kennedy/1/

Washington, October 29, 1963.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Departments and Agencies Series, Space Activities, General, 10/63-11/63, Box 308. Confidential. In an October 30 covering memorandum to Bundy, Wiesner noted that it might be advantageous for the President to reply as soon as possible, and that it should be possible for NASA to produce an outline of a joint program.

The US Proposal for a Joint US-USSR Lunar Program

I believe that Premier Khrushchev's statement of October 26 that the USSR does not plan to land a man on the moon gives us a unique opportunity to follow through on your UN proposal for a joint US-USSR program in a way that will not only be in accord with U.S. objectives for peaceful cooperation if accepted by the USSR, but will also decisively dispel the doubts that have existed in the Congress and the press about the sincerity and feasibility of the proposal itself. Specifically, I would propose a joint program in which the USSR provides unmanned exploratory and logistic support for the U.S. Apollo manned landing. I believe such a program would utilize the combined resources of US and USSR in a technically practical manner and might, in view of Premier Khrushchev's statement, be politically attractive to him.

The manned lunar program encompasses much more than the manned landing vehicle itself. The PSAC space panels have consistently emphasized the importance of the unmanned lunar exploration program to develop technical information about the lunar surface. This information appears critical to a successful manned landing. The U.S. unmanned program hinges around the Surveyor program which at best is a marginal one. At the present time its estimated payload had dropped to 65 pounds and its schedule is unreliable. The Soviet Union, however, apparently has a substantial capability at this time for this type of exploratory mission. A joint program which would use this capability would be very valuable to us.

More directly involved with the manned landing itself is a vehicle and spacecraft for placing a large stock of supplies and equipment at the site of the manned landing. NASA and the PSAC space panels all agree that the 24-48 hours staytime provided by Apollo does not permit the astronauts to conduct significant scientific exploration. It is agreed that to make Apollo a useful scientific endeavor an additional 7000 pounds of equipment and supplies must be landed at his site to permit him 5 to 7 days of useful scientific exploration before he returns to earth. This logistic support requires another large vehicle and spacecraft to be available on about the same time schedule as Apollo. The U.S. development program to provide this capability has not yet been initiated. If the Soviet Union could be convinced that the logistic support was indeed an essential and integral part of the manned landing and persuaded to provide this support system, the resulting program would again result in an effective use of combined resources. The Apollo program would remain a purely U.S. technical program without modification of present plans. A Russian could easily be included as a member of the landing team without complicating the engineering effort. In addition, the proposal would have the practical value of minimizing requirements for complicated joint engineering projects and launching operations and would emphasize the exchange of plans, information and possibly people.

If we assume that Premier Khrushchev is telling the truth (and I believe that he is), this proposal will give the USSR the opportunity of sharing in the credit for a successful lunar mission without incurring major expenditures much beyond those that they probably plan to undertake as part of their present space program. By not including joint engineering and launching activities, the proposal minimizes the security impact on the USSR that undoubtedly acts as a restraint on joint activities because of the close association of the Soviet space and military missile programs.

It is true that the above proposal assumes that the USSR would be willing to follow the now well established U.S. operational plan for manned lunar exploration. This did not seem reasonable as long as it appeared likely that Russia had a well developed program of her own. Now, however, Premier Khrushchev's statement, whether it is true or not, makes such a proposal by the United States reasonable from every standpoint. The proposal now not only offers a program which truly enhances the manned lunar exploration effort while leaving the Apollo program intact, but also one which ought to be acceptable to the USSR.

It might be extremely advantageous for you to publicly offer this plan to the USSR as a specific proposal for a joint program, formulated in the light of Premier Khrushchev's statement and designed to effectively combine the resources of both countries. The effectiveness of the offer would be enhanced if it were made while Khrushchev's statement is still fresh in the mind of the public. If the proposal is accepted we will have established a practical basis for cooperative program. If it is rejected we will have demonstrated our desire for peaceful cooperation and the sincerity of our original proposal.

If you believe this proposal has merit, I suggest that you request that NASA prepare as soon as possible a specific plan along these lines for your consideration./2/

/2/During his news conference of October 31, President Kennedy expressed skepticism about Premier Khrushchev's claim that the Soviet Union was no longer in a race to the moon. He also said, "I think we ought to stay with our program. I think that is the best answer to Mr. Khrushchev." See Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1963, p. 832.

Jerome B. Wiesner/3/

/3/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.


409. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Schlesinger) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, November 7, 1963.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Departments and Agencies Series, Space Activities, General, 10/63-11/63, Box 308. Confidential.

In view of Moscow's #1542/2/ (discussing Khrushchev's apparent acceptance in principle of the idea of a joint moon shot), it would seem important that NASA undertake serious studies as to how lunar collaboration might be worked out. On Tuesday, Harlan Cleveland, Dick Gardner and I met with Hugh Dryden and a number of his colleagues. My impression is that NASA remains rather negative about the whole idea, and that an expression of Presidential interest in their progress in planning for it might be appropriate./3/

/2/Not printed.

/3/On November 9 Schlesinger sent Bundy a second memorandum reading: "I think it might help the current State Department-NASA debate if you could send a memorandum along the following lines to Harlan Cleveland: 'I trust that Governor Stevenson's speech in the UNGA space debate will include an adequate follow-up of the President's moon proposal.'" (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Departments and Agencies Series, Space Activities, General, 10/63-11/63, Box 308) Regarding Stevenson's speech, see footnote 3, Document 412.

At present they have under way a paper, prepared at State's request, analyzing the stages which might be involved in exploring whether collaboration might be possible. This paper is procedural rather than substantive in character. It proposes three stages:

a) full and serious exchange of information on existing experience with manned space flight;

b) exchange of "gross information" regarding planning for manned lunar flight;

c) more specific description by both sides of their manned lunar programs.

The distinction between (b) and (c) was not clear to Cleveland and me, even when explained by Dryden. NASA points out that none of these stages involves significant security problems for us, since we have published a good deal of the information anyway; but that they would all involve more or less significant security problems for the USSR.

The NASA view is that eventual substantive steps would depend on the confidence established by these early procedural steps. The substantive steps, they say, would involve significant security questions for us. And, in general, they were most bearish about the technical feasibility of what they called "integration of hardware"--i.e., the "marriage" of the American and Soviet programs on the "hardware level." When Cleveland suggested that "integration of personnel" might be an alternative means of carrying out (sorry, "implementing") the President's suggestion, the NASA people acted almost as if this were a new thought. However, they rallied gamely and were soon pointing out how impossible this would be too.

Eventually Dryden thought that it might be a good idea to have a General Assembly resolution endorsing the idea of a joint moon expedition, thereby tacitly bringing pressure on the Soviet Union to join up. This suggests that the NASA mind is not totally closed to the President's proposal. But I would think that a call from you to Dryden and an expression of White House interest in substantive planning as well as in exploratory procedures would be a good idea.



410. National Security Action Memorandum No. 271/1/

Washington, November 12, 1963.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, S/S-NSC Files: Lot 72 D 316, NSAM No. 271. Confidential. Copies were sent to the Chairman of the National Aeronautics and Space Council, the Secretaries of State and Defense, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, the Director of the National Science Foundation, the Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, and the Director of the U.S. Information Agency. Also printed in Exploring the Unknown, Volume II: External Relationships, pp. 166-167.

The Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Cooperation with the USSR on Outer Space Matters

I would like you to assume personally the initiative and central responsibility within the Government for the development of a program of substantive cooperation with the Soviet Union in the field of outer space, including the development of specific technical proposals. I assume that you will work closely with the Department of State and other agencies as appropriate.

These proposals should be developed with a view to their possible discussion with the Soviet Union as a direct outcome of my September 20 proposal for broader cooperation between the United States and the USSR in outer space, including cooperation in lunar landing programs. All proposals or suggestions originating within the Government relating to this general subject will be referred to you for your consideration and evaluation.

In addition to developing substantive proposals, I expect that you will assist the Secretary of State in exploring problems of procedure and timing connected with holding discussions with the Soviet Union and in proposing for my consideration the channels which would be most desirable from our point of view. In this connection the channel of contact developed by Dr. Dryden between NASA and the Soviet Academy of Sciences has been quite effective, and I believe that we should continue to utilize it as appropriate as a means of continuing the dialogue between the scientists of both countries.

I would like an interim report on the progress of our planning by December 15.

John F. Kennedy


411. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (Cleveland) to Acting Secretary of State Ball/1/

Washington, November 20, 1963.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1960-63, SP 6 UN. Confidential. Drafted by T. Wilson (IO) on November 19. Copies were sent to Ambassador Llewellyn E. Thompson, William R. Tyler, Walt W. Rostow, and Ragnar Rollefson.

In Outer Space, Too, It Takes Two To Tango

As I mentioned in our recent conversation, my colleagues and I have tried to sort out what Adlai Stevenson could appropriately say, in his basic General Assembly speech on Outer Space next week, about the President's September 20 proposal that manned flight to the moon be a cooperative, rather than competitive, affair./2/ The following is a suggested line of approach on which I should appreciate your comments:

/2/See footnote 3, Document 412.

1. Last September the President made a formal and consciously dramatic public offer to the Soviet Union to cooperate in putting men on the moon, saying:

"Finally, in a field where the United States and the Soviet Union have a special capacity--in the field of space--there is room for new cooperation, for further joint efforts in the regulation and exploration of space. I include among these possibilities a joint expedition to the moon. Space offers no problems of sovereignty; by resolution of this Assembly, the members of the United Nations have forsworn any claim to territorial rights in outer space or on celestial bodies and declared that international law and the United Nations Charter will apply. Why, therefore, should man's first flight to the moon be a matter of national competition? Why should the United States and the Soviet Union, in preparing for such expeditions, become involved in immense duplications of research, construction, and expenditure? Surely we should explore whether the scientists and astronauts of our two countries--indeed, of all the world--cannot work together in the conquest of space, sending some day in this decade to the moon not the representatives of a single nation but the representatives of all of our countries."

2. This month, the United States and the Soviet Union have completed negotiations on an agreed statement of legal principles for outer space which, among other things, solemnly declares":

--that "in the exploration of outer space States shall be guided by the principle of cooperation and mutual assistance . . ."; and

--that "States shall regard astronauts as envoys of mankind in outer space . . ."

These principles reflect the semantic value--and the political force--of "international cooperation".

3. In the meantime, Chairman Khrushchev has maneuvered himself into this public position: he is not racing the Americans to the moon because life on earth is so good that he is not in that much of a hurry and, because he doesn't want to risk human life; he has a large and active moonlanding project on the boards which he fully expects to succeed but which is unencumbered by a rigid time schedule; he sees limits to the possibility of cooperation because of the secrecy unhappily engendered by the arms race, but he is interested in the President's offer. This would seem to rule out the possibility--suggested by the President--of "a joint expedition to the moon".

Mr. Khrushchev's somewhat erratic statements no doubt reflect internal differences in the Soviet leadership over the desirability of cooperation with the U.S. They may also reflect financial difficulties. And they may reflect indecision about scientific problems in connection with a lunar landing--or even a conviction that the Soviet Union cannot get there first.

4. Nevertheless, this is a well-thought-out position from Khrushchev's point of view. If the Americans succeed in landing and recovering the first man from the surface of the moon by 1970, the resulting national prestige will be modified by the fact that we did not win "victory" in a "race" against the Russians; we simply--if dramatically-met a self-imposed deadline--and self-restraint would inhibit global gloating about that.

If the Americans put the first man on the moon after 1970 the resultant prestige will be further modified by the fact that we got there late according to our own timetable.

If the Soviets put the first man on the moon, the resultant prestige for the Soviets would be greatly amplified by the fact that they did not get there first because they were racing with the Americans but because their technology was so far ahead that there was no point in waiting around.

If the Americans should try first and fail--and especially if this involved loss of life--Khrushchev not only would appear to have better judgment but could express his sympathies in the garb of the true humanitarian.

By postulating that it takes two to make a race, Khrushchev has put himself in the best position available in the circumstances-unless it can be demonstrated that it is he who is declining international cooperation.

5. Given the alternative outcomes it seems clear that net national U.S. advantage lies in sticking with the policy of going to the moon as quickly as possible-alone if need be but preferably with the maximum feasible international cooperation-without the Russians if need be but preferably with them. Credit would accrue to the U.S. for national success in sending an American to be the first man on the moon; even greater credit, in the minds of most non-Americans, would accrue to the nation which leads a cooperative enterprise and makes the leading contribution to it.

6. But if it takes two to race, it also takes two to cooperate. The President has committed the United States to try to pursue that course; the door has not been closed on all hope for cooperation; the ball is back in our court; the U.S. Delegate is scheduled to speak in the U.N. Outer Space Committee next week; and if the U.S. were to go silent on a dialogue initiated by the President, the conclusion no doubt will be drawn that the President has given in to advocates of noncooperation. So having made an offer of maximum cooperation--a joint U.S.-USSR flight to the moon--the U.S. can hardly fail to push for lesser forms of cooperation.

7. The principal objections raised to cooperation on our side--and no doubt on the other-seem to be (a) that technology is too far advanced to marry up U.S. and Soviet space exploration systems; (b) that joint teams of astronauts are not feasible for technical and training reasons; (c) that there are military security problems; and (d) that the U.S. [the USSR] cannot be in a position of having its program stymied by the failure of the Soviets [the Americans]/3/ to carry out projects allocated to it under a cooperative program.

/3/Brackets in the source text.

8. These objections--even when accepted at full face value--do not themselves preclude effective steps toward achievement of the President's stated objective of exploring "whether the scientists and astronauts of our two countries--indeed of all the world--cannot work together in the conquest of space . . ."

9. It is assumed that the Soviet Union has much more difficulty with the mere thought of cooperation than we do and that they will have more serious "security problems" at any realistic level of cooperation than we will have--for all the reasons flowing from the fact that they run a closed society and we run an open society. We therefore can take it for granted, with considerable confidence, that the Russians will in no event be willing to go so far as to raise serious military security problems for us: we are safe in shooting for the maximum amount of cooperation that the Soviets can be talked into yielding./4/

/4/A handwritten marginal note reads: "depends on who is to do what in coop. venture."

It therefore is important that--while detailed negotiations would be largely bilateral--we egg on the Russians to cooperate in an open forum where the maximum influence of the on-looking world community could be brought to bear./5/

/5/A handwritten marginal note reads: "not necessity."

10. To pursue U.S. policy of going to the moon with the maximum amount of international cooperation that will not interfere with our program, our next objective should be not to integrate the two national lunar programs but to add them up together with the efforts of other nations, into a world program of lunar exploration in which both prestige and failure could be to some extent shared--in which the scientists and astronauts of all participating nations can "work together in the conquest of space" as "representatives of all our countries". This would have to be done in a way which does not require us to weld a U.S. capsule on a Russian rocket, or to mate a clean-cut American astronaut with a chubby Soviet cosmonette, or to compromise the security of either state, or to make progress of one national program dependent upon progress in the other.

The point is to put a largely symbolic international umbrella over both national programs, plus the contributions of other countries, and to create the image of a mutually cooperative world program to put men on the moon as "representatives of all our countries" regardless of the nationality of the first arrivals.

A good analogy is the "World Weather System" which will depend very largely upon U.S. and Soviet technology, which will maintain World Data Centers under national control in Washington and Moscow, but which enjoys the blessing and the nominal parenthood of the World Meteorological Organization and which draws into the program whatever supporting resources can be contributed by other countries.

Once the protective mantle of the international community is thrown over a project, symbolism and terminology can reinforce the desired impression. For example, if the Americans are ready to send out the first team, and the Russians the second and third teams, we could begin to refer to them as Moon Teams I, II, and III in the World Program for Lunar Exploration.

11. Neither nation would put aside its national program to work this out; negotiations could proceed on a subject-by-subject basis, taking the easiest ones first; national chips could be tossed into the international pot one at a time; and both sides could reserve the right to get acclimated to cooperation gradually. Cooperation could take the form of mutual support through coordinated national activities--cooperative tracking of astronauts, coordinated observation and sampling of the lunar surface, exchanges of information on man's biological performance in space.

If this approach does not work, the U.S. would get political credit for trying.

If it does work, U.S. interests would be furthered generally by another step toward de-fuzing the cold war, toward keeping outer space peaceful, toward engaging the Soviet Union in responsible mutual enterprise, toward building international institutions, toward an atmosphere more conducive to genuine measures of arms control and disarmament. More specifically, U.S. interests would be furthered by promoting that alternative outcome of the moon project in which net national advantage resides.

12. Meanwhile, and in any event, we should certainly get on with our own Apollo program. The fundamental reason for getting to the moon is not to beat the Russians but to get to the moon. Neither Congress nor the Administration should let Chairman Khrushchev influence the level of our appropriations or the degree of our resolve.


412. Memorandum From the Deputy Legal Adviser of the Department of State (Meeker) to the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Johnson)/1/

Washington, December 4, 1963.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1960-63, SP 1-1 US-USSR. Confidential.

Cooperation with the Soviets on a Joint Expedition to the Moon

In accordance with the suggestion of SCI, we are addressing to you our comments on the NASA paper of November 19, concerning cooperation with the Soviets on a joint expedition to the moon./2/

/2/Not found.

President Kennedy in September included in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly a generalized proposal of United States-Soviet cooperation on a manned lunar landing. The proposal was referred to by Ambassador Stevenson in his speech of December 2 to the General Assembly's Political Committee. He said: "President Johnson has instructed me to reaffirm that offer today."/3/

/3/For text of Ambassador Stevenson's speech, see Department of State Bulletin, December 30, 1963, pp. 1005-1012.

It is possible that the Soviets do not feel that they are called upon to make any particular reply to a proposal set forth and repeated in speeches before the United Nations. Therefore, it would seem advisable at some time early in 1964 to make a private bilateral approach to the USSR, asking whether the Soviets would like to discuss the possibilities of cooperation on a manned lunar landing.

Since Soviet performance is already overdue under the Dryden-Blagonravov Agreement, we would presumably not wish to propose further agreements until the Soviet attitude toward the existing arrangements has been clarified. This might be done in a high-level approach, by Ambassador Kohler or perhaps in a Presidential letter to Chairman Khrushchev, embodying the following elements:

1. The United States remains committed to the principle of international cooperation in outer space and believes that the United States and the USSR should work together constructively in the exploration of space;

2. The new Administration in this country fully intends to carry forward the implementation of the Dryden-Blagonravov Agreement, and wishes to confirm that the Soviet Government will do likewise;

3. If the Soviet Government shares these views, the United States proposes that there should be bilateral discussions to consider further prospects for United States-Soviet cooperation in space, to include, if the Soviet Government desires, a discussion of ways in which the two countries could work together toward a manned lunar landing.

We would want to know that the Soviets intend to go ahead with the Dryden-Blagonravov Agreement before we enter into discussions with them of more ambitious cooperative projects. And we would want to see actual performance by the Soviets under their existing commitments before we embarked on other programs of cooperation in space.


413. Letter From the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Webb) to the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Johnson)/1/

Washington, December 18, 1963.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, SCI Files: Lot 65 D 473, Box 1, SP 1-1, International Cooperation USSR. Confidential.

Dear Alex:

As you know, the President, in a National Security Action Memorandum dated November 12, directed me to take personal responsibility for the formulation of proposals for possible cooperation in space matters with the Soviet Union and for coordinating with other agencies as appropriate.

To establish a basis for a report to the President, I asked that a staff paper be prepared and circulated informally among several of the interested agencies, including your office. A number of helpful comments have now been received and incorporated. As it now stands, I believe the paper is responsive to your own letter of October 14. Accordingly, I am forwarding it to you herewith./2/

/2/For text of Webb's report, "US-USSR Cooperation in Space Research Programs," see Exploring the Unknown, Volume II: External Relationships, pp. 170-182.

I am asking Dr. Dryden to convene an interagency meeting as early as possible in January in order to provide for formal coordination of all interested offices, prior to forwarding a final report to the President.

While the enclosed paper is primarily concerned with the technical content of, and suitable framework for, possible discussions with the Soviet Union, some thought has also been given to the timing and channels appropriate for such discussions. I want to assure you, however, that we recognize fully the Department of State's responsibilities in this regard.

Sincerely yours,

James E. Webb

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