International Cooperation in Space

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Science  24 Jul 1970:
Vol. 169, Issue 3943, pp. 333-339
DOI: 10.1126/science.169.3943.333


NASA has developed an extensive program of international cooperation, which opens the entire range of its space activities to foreign participation and benefit. The program has involved developing as well as advanced countries in activities that are fruitful scientifically, technically, economically, and (it may be hoped) politically. "Gaps" or limitations in the program are found in the areas of manned space flight and large booster development and in cooperation with the Soviet Union. In the first case, the low level of European budgeting is the prime explanation, perhaps reflecting Europe's late start in the space business and an early underestimate of its values and possibilities. In the second case, the explanation seems to rest with Soviet political views rather than with technical problems or any lack of interest by the United States. Openhanded efforts are currently under way to raise the level of foreign participation in the space programs of the next decade, but it is too early to estimate their chances of major success. Public commentary could undoubtedly assist these efforts more effectively if it were directed more clearly to the actual sources of restriction on foreign participation. Despite the restricting factors abroad, however, there is every reason to persevere with existing and improved programs for international cooperation.

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