Peaceful Use of Outer Space

June 27, 1962

Report Outline
Soviet-American Cooperation in Space
American Overtures to Other Nations
The United Nations and Outer Space
Questions of Space Law and Regulation

Soviet-American Cooperation in Space

Recognition that outer space is “a field in which many can contribute and all can benefit” bids fair to bring the countries of the world together in a concerted effort to unlock the secrets of the universe. The United States and the Soviet Union, rivals in space since the orbiting of Sputnik I nearly five years ago, recently agreed in principle to a five-part program of cooperation. And dele-grates from 10 other countries, meeting in Paris on June 14, signed a convention setting up a European Space Research Organization.

Meanwhile, the United Nations and subsidiary organs have been active in promoting cooperation on an even broader scale. The U.N. Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, dormant for the first two years of its existence, at last shows promise of becoming the focal point of a world-wide endeavor to explore and exploit the limitless region beyond the earth's atmosphere. The World Meteorological Organization, the International Telecommunication Union, and other U.N. specialized agencies stand ready to contribute knowledge and manpower to such an enterprise.

Agreement on Soviet-American Space Projects

Soviet-American cooperation in space seemed a remote prospect until recently. From 1957 through 1961, Moscow lost no opportunity to turn its space feats to propaganda advantage. But this country's success in narrowing, if not entirely closing, the gap in the space race evidently forced the Kremlin to reassess its position. As President Kennedy remarked the day after the Feb. 20 orbital flight of Lt. Col. John H. Glenn Jr., “We … have more chips on the table than we did some time ago.” Soviet Premier Khrushchev, extending congratulations on Glenn's flight, observed in a letter to the President on Feb. 21 that “If countries pooled their efforts—scientific, technical and material—to explore outer space, this would be very beneficial to the advance of science and would be acclaimed by all people who would like to see scientific achievements benefit man and not be used for ‘cold war’ purposes and the arms race.”

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