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In those long gone days, the rulers of Europe failed to match the geographic vision of Columbus with a corresponding vision of law and statecraft. Within 2 short years after the New World had been discovered, the two great nautical powers agreed to divide the spoils. On June 7, 1494, ambassadors from Spain and Portugal met in the small town of Tordesillas in Spain and signed an agreement carving up the New World between them. What followed is well known: nationalist competition and imperialist wars.
So, for centuries, a voyage of exploration and discovery was a voyage of conquest and expansion.
This is only year 7 of the age of space and we have only one foot over the threshold of this new age of discovery. Yet already the members of this organization—not by secret agreement reached behind closed doors but by public debate on a floodlit stage—have agreed that the two leading space powers of today's world will never carve up the moon between them; nor will they or any nation make any sovereign claim in outer space or on any celestial body. Discovery is no longer the prelude to conquest.
Mr. Chairman, we often warn—and with good reason—that the pace of scientific invention may so outstrip social invention that the world's affairs will race out of control and leave us in chaos behind. But it may be worth noting that it took man tens of thousands of years to figure out how to escape his earthy environment; and in the half dozen years following there has been enough social invention to sustain the hope that outer space will not be chaotic.
That hope is based on the progress that has been made so far toward freedom, peace, law, and cooperation in outer space which, if pursued, could make this the first age of exploration not in the name of national glory but in the name of man himself. I therefore propose, Mr. Chairman, to review briefly this march of social invention which suggests that we may not, after all, be lagging disastrously behind the pace of technological advance, at least in outer space.
The essential freedoms of outer space are set forth in General Assembly Resolution 1721 approved nearly 2 years ago. That resolution asserts that outer space and celestial bodies are free from national appropriation. It asserts that all nations are free to explore and to use outer space. This is the doctrine of freedom in outer space unanimously proclaimed by the members of this Assembly.
In addition to the freedoms embodied in General Assembly Resolution 1721, two important steps have recently been taken to limit the arms race in outer space.
One was the treaty signed by over a hundred nations, prohibiting the testing of nuclear weapons in outer space, in the atmosphere, and underwater, is a significant step toward a regime of peace in outer space.
The other was the step taken by this Assembly on October 17 when the members by acclamation welcomed the expressions by the United States and the Soviet Union of their intention not to station in outer space any objects carrying nuclear weapons or other kinds of weapons of mass destruction and solemnly called upon all states to refrain from stationing such weapons in outer space.
Observance of this resolution and of the partial test ban by all nations will do more than limit the arms race in outer space. It should help to create the confidence needed here on earth for greater progress in disarmament and cooperation in all areas.
The structure for this cooperation, and for the activities of all nations in space, must be an international legal order. This need becomes more imperative as the number of nations active in space increases and as the range of their activities grows.
This growth of custom and usage must be present to provide the basis of sound law. Resolution 1721 made a beginning when it declared that freedom to explore and use outer space means freedom to do so “in conformity with international law.” And more specifically “international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, applies to outer space and celestial bodies."
This general proposition was not enough. In the same resolution the General Assembly asked the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to study legal problems arising out of the exploration of space. So the Com
mittee established a Legal Subcommittee to begin to put flesh on the bones of outer space law.
From an early stage, members of the Committee realized that any attempts at a comprehensive codification of legal rules for outer space would be premature. The world's experience in the exploration of outer space has been entirely too brief. In conformity with this experience, the Committee finally agreed to try simultaneously to elaborate basic legal principles and to draw up rules for handling two specific legal problems which already pressed for solution : liability for outer space vehicle accidents, and assistance to, and return of, astronauts and their vehicles which might come down on the territory of another state.
After almost 2 years, a part of this work has now borne fruit. We have before us a draft declaration of legal principles which the Outer Space Committee has unanimously decided to submit to the General Assembly. It is the outcome of a long process of international debate and international consultation, of numerous drafts, of clarifications, compromises, and modifications. This fall, at the request of the Outer Space Committee, these consultations were intensified in order to produce a text which could be generally agreed and supported.
I should like to say a few words about the character and status which the United States considers the principles contained in this declaration will have once the draft resolution has been adopted by the General Assembly, as we hope, without any dissent. In the view of the United States, the operative paragraphs of the resolution contained legal principles which the General Assembly, in adopting the resolution, would declare should guide states in the exploration and use of outer space. We believe these legal principles reflect international law as it is accepted by the members of the United Nations. The United States, for its part, intends to respect these principles. We hope that the conduct which the resolution commends to nations in the exploration of outer space will become the practice of all nations.
In adopting the resolution now before us the General Assembly will be only beginning its work on the development of law fo
The declaration is not the last word; it is one of the first. In the future, as experience accumulates, the United Nations may want to formulate additional principles.
In addition-and we believe there is wide agreement on this—the Outer Space Committee should now give first priority to the task of preparing international agreements on the subjects of (1) liability for space vehicle accidents, and (2) assistance to and return of astronauts and space vehicles. We believe that the General Assembly should ask the Outer Space Committee to arrange its work program accordingly.
Moreover, the General Assembly will want to provide for a continuing study of the whole field of outer space law as the activities of states develop in this new environment. We believe the Outer Space Committee and its Legal Subcommittee should continue to survey the whole field of outer space exploration from the legal point of view, so that the United Nations may make an informed and effective contribution in building an international legal order for outer space.
Freedom, peace, and law—these are the goals of the Assembly in space. But the Assembly and the United Nations have yet a fourth significant goalinternational cooperation.
Such cooperation begins with direct cooperation among nations. It has been the consistent policy of my Government, from the beginning of the age of space, to extend our hand in cooperation, to share knowledge with other nations, and to obtain, in return, the benefits of common enterprise, much needed help and the good will of involvement in common tasks.
As President Johnson stated as early as January 7, 1958, when he was a Senator of the United States : “The goals now within reach of the human race are too great to be divided as spoils, too great for the world to waste its effort in a blind race between competitive nations."
Cooperative arrangements—both bilateral and multilateral—with other nations now cover virtually the entire range of U.S. research and application for peaceful development of outer space.
Our Weather Bureau and space agency have participated in the coordinated acquisition of satellite and ground-based weather data with 40 other national weather services.
Through our International Ground Station Committee, 11 other nations are cooperating in experimental space communications and gaining experience in reading out signals from communication satellites.
We have sounding rocket agreements with 12 other nations, and cooperative arrangements with 26 other nations in ionospheric research.
We have participated in establishing 27 oversea facilities in 19 different jurisdictions, including tracking stations, deep space instrumentation facilities, and a manned space flight network.
We have also gained valuable experience in cooperative space launchings. The Alouette satellite is the tangible fruit of our continuing cooperation with Canada. The Ariel satellite is the first step in a continuing joint venture with Great Britain. In the near future, we plan to join Italy and France in the placing of other scientific satellites into orbit.
All in all, more than 60 countries have worked cooperatively with the United States in actual flight experiments, in ground-based activities in direct support of orbiting experiments, or in cooperative training programs.
Based upon this wide and mutually fruitful experience in bilateral cooperation, the United States entered into a cooperative agreement with the Soviet Union. On August 16, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences announced the approval of a first memorandum of understanding to carry out this agreement. Cooperation in three fields is envisaged.
First, the United States and the Soviet Union will exchange data gathered by national experimental weather satellites and will coordinate launchings of their respective weather vehicles in space. The data coming in from these satellites will be open to all nations and will reinforce the projected world weather watch being developed under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization.
Second, we will exchange data from satellites equipped with magnetometers, as part of the world magnetic survey.
Third, we will perform joint experiments in space communications with passive U.S. satellites.
This is at least a start and we hope it is a prophetic one. My Government is ready to get on with this program at any time, and we hope that we may soon begin its implementation.
Mr. Chairman, bilateral cooperation in outer space and cooperation at the United Nations level and multilaterally through organizations of the world's scientific community are mutually reinforcing; and one tends to lead to the other. ' Experience gained in cooperating on a narrow base tends to lead to cooperation on a broader base.
Through the International Committee on Space Research-COSPAR, of the International Council of Scientific Unions, 24 nations share scientific research on space. COSPAR has sought with a large measure of success to extend in the space science field the remarkable cooperation that characterized the International Geophysical Year, which, among its other accomplishments, ushered in the age of space.
COSPAR’s world data centers for rockets and satellites, maintained at Washington, Moscow, and Slough, England, are the world's major repositories for analyzed data on outer space.
COSPAR has pioneered in maintaining a registry of satellite launchings, and has sponsored Spacewarn, a system in which launching nations communicate around the world essential information within a few hours after the successful firing of a scientific satellite or space probe.
The U.S. scientific community takes a fully active part in these and other important functions of COSPAR.
We also intend to take an active role in the International Year of the Quiet Sun, an important successor to the IGY, under the auspices of the International Council of Scientific Unions-an effort in which some 60 nations will take part.
These cooperative arrangements within the world scientific community are a healthy phenomenon. They are indicative of a community of interest which transcends national boundaries, and binds men and nations together.
In the world as a whole, this community of interests is perhaps epitomized by the United Nations. Already, the United Nations and its family of agencies are deeply involved in the exciting potentials of outer space to focus cooperation, and help make possible the centralization of vital information.
The Secretary General now maintains a registry of information on space launchings in which the United States, for its part, has registered all its launchings from mid-February 1962.
The Secretary General has now built up an expert outer space staff to assist him in this important field, a development warmly welcomed by the United States. We hope, in implementing the work of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, that this staff might draw up constructive proposals to define further the scope of the Committee's recommendations and its future program.
The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, working with the Secretary General, is already collecting and will soon be publishing information on national and cooperative programs, and on the resources of the United Nations, specialized agencies, and other international bodies related to the peaceful uses of outer space;
It is preparing reviews of training and educational opportunities;
It is preparing a list of available bibliographic and abstracting services covering the scientific and technical results and publications in space and space-related areas;
And the United Nations, as such, is also considering endorsement of specific activities and facilities which offer unusual opportunities for broad international participation—this year the rocket launching station at Thumba, India.
These and other activities are being carried on directly by the United Nations Space Committee in cooperation with the Secretary General—and I am proud to note, in passing, that my Government was one of the original founders of this committee and has worked actively to help establish its program on a sound basis.
Indeed it was President Johnson himself who, as a Member of the Senate, came before this Committee of the General Assembly in this very room on November 17, 1958, to speak in support of the resolution creating the Ad Hoc Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. At that time President Johnson stated :
“To keep space as man has found it and to harvest the vield of peace which it promises, we of the United States see one course and only one which the nations of the earth may intelligently pursue. That is the course of full and complete and immediate cooperation to make the exploration of outer space a joint adventure.”
Beyond the activities of the U.N. Space Committee, some of the technical agencies are becoming deeply involved in the space venture, and it is here that we see why, in some instances, international organization and international cooperation are not only desirable but a plain necessity.
The most obvious instance of necessity is the problem of allocating radio frequencies to meet the needs for communication, weather, and navigational satellites; for space research; for radio astronomy; and for other uses.
The only alternative to international agreement is chaos in outer space communication. We therefore applaud the recently completed work of the Space Radio Conference of the International Telecommunications Union which provided sufficient allocation of frequency bands for space communication for the next 10 or 15 years, and which adopted procedures relating to the use of these allocations. This, as I say, was a plain necessity.
There also is compelling reason for international organization and cooperation in weather reporting and forecasting. The atmosphere envelopes the globe, not just a single state; so no nation can achieve weather forecasting adequate to its needs from observations made solely within its territory.
As matters stand, inadequate or inaccurate prediction of storms, rainfall, floods, and drought cost the people of the world each year the loss of human life and billions of dollars. Our new-found capacity to orbit meteorological satellites, coupled with other exciting developments in meteorological science and computer technology, holds the promise of a drastic reduction in such losses which have plagued men of all nations through history.
To illustrate the point, our satellite Tiros VI, in the course of a record 13 months of continuous operation, transmitted nearly 60,000 cloud cover photographs which enabled us to issue 360 warnings of severe storms and over 2,000 analyses of global cloud cover. This work is being carried on by Tiros VII, now in orbit above us
And to stress the point that this development can be of direct benefit to all nations in the here and now, let me state that the next Tiros satellite, to be launched shortly, will carry aloft an experimental development—the
automatic picture transmission system. This will transmit automatically to ground receiver stations, without command from the ground, cloud photographic coverage of an area about 1,600 kilometers in radius surrounding the ground station. The receiving equipment can be procured for less than $50,000, bringing this service within the reach of all nations.
This is what science and technology are bringing to the field of meteorology. And the international community is hard on the heels of scientific progress with a matching rate of progress in institutional development.
At its fourth congress, the WMO initiated the financial and organizational basis for a world weather system to make the most of both conventional and satellite weather data. We should applaud this move and urge members to play their part in the world weather system and take the necessary steps to be in a position to get the greatest benefits from it. My Government is only too pleased to support this program, and the WMO in general, as it has from the beginning.
In the field of space communications, too, the technology does not lie in the distant future, but has been coming rapidly into use this very year.
The first Relay satellite, placed into orbit December 13, 1962, provided successful transmission of voice between North and South America, and of black and white and color television between the United States and Europe. The second Telstar satellite, launched on May 7 of this year, has in addition, carried telephone calls, teletype messages and data and facsimile transmission.
The first public demonstration of a synchronous satellite-Syncom II-was conducted on August 4, 1963, between Nigeria and the United States. We were fortunate in having as a participant in that program the Secretary General of the United Nations. Moreover, the opening of the General Assembly was transmitted by both medium altitude and synchronous satellites in television and voices.
Here, too-in space communications as in weather-technology, economics, and commonsense all impel us toward the establishment of a single universal system.
As we have said before, our purpose is to help develop a single, global commercial system of communication via satellites-a system in which all countries will have an opportunity to participate in its ownership, management, and use. The U.S. Communications Satellite Corp. is now well underway with its planning.
As President Kennedy said on November 20: "This Government and the U.S. Communications Satellite Corp. can now take practical steps, in cooperation with other governments and foreign business entities, to develop a single global commercial space communications system."
The U.S. Government and the Communications Satellite Corp. look forward to exchanging views in the months ahead with other governments and communications entities on next steps toward such a global system
Communication by satellite is in process of imminent realization. The voice, message, and picture will leap the barriers of distance. We will come ever closer together in time and space. But use of this new means of communication for international understanding will depend, as always, on our deeds. And in the creation of the global communication system itself, there is no rational alternative to international cooperation.
Mr. Chairman, what does all this add up to?
In the name of the world community. we have promulgated the doctrine of freedom in outer space-declared that it shall be for human betterment and taken first steps toward assuring it-decided that space shall be ruled by international law, and begun to spell out what we mean by that.
In the name of technology, efficiency, maximum benefit, and plain good sense, we are engaged in an elaborate network of international cooperation at bilateral. multilateral, and United Nations levels, which taken together can well be described as an international program to extend dramatically man's knowledge and mastery of the outer environment which wraps all nations and all peoples in a common embrace.
In short, we have rejected the political philosophy which made the last age of discovery an age of national conquest and conflict-and projected a political philosophy which promises to make this new age of discovery one of cooperation and benefit for all mankind. In outer space, if you please, our