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Press Release: National Space Policy
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: (202) 456-6020
September 19, 1996
PRESIDENT CLINTON ISSUES NEW NATIONAL SPACE POLICY
The President today will announce a new national space
policy that is the first
post-Cold War assessment of American space goals and activities.
The new policy commits the nation to a strong and stable program
in space that addresses both U.S. civil and national security
requirements, and will ensure America's role as the world's space
The new policy, to be unveiled by Assistant to the President
for Science and Technology John H. Gibbons, results from a
year-long review undertaken by the National Science and
Technology Council and the National Security Council. Among its
Within the civil space program, the policy reaffirms a
U.S. commitment to the International Space Station and to the
next-generation of launch vehicle programs; it calls for an
aggressive space science program including the sustained robotic
exploration of Mars, sample return missions from celestial bodies
within the solar system and a long-term program to identify and
characterize planets around other stars; and maintains our
current commitment to a long-term program of environmental
monitoring from space.
In the commercial sector, the policy seeks to stimulate
private-sector investment by committing the U.S. government to
purchase commercially available goods and services, and by
offering stable and predictable access to federal space-related
hardware, facilities, and data. The policy also lays the
groundwork for moving away from international launch quotas
toward an international commercial environment characterized by
free and fair trade in commercial launch services.
For national security, the policy directs closer
coordination between Department of Defense and intelligence
improve the nation's ability to support military operations
worldwide, to monitor and respond to strategic military threats,
and to monitor arms control and nonproliferation agreements and
On August 7, 1996 the President called for a bipartisan
summit on the future of America's space program. The policy
announced today is an important milestone in the preparation for
the summit, and will serve as the blueprint for future efforts to
maintain a balanced and robust national space effort. An
unclassified summary of the Presidential Decision Directive
implementing the policy is available.