Presidential Decisions: NSC Documents from the George H.W. Bush Administration

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The George H.W. Bush Administration largely carried forward the space policy initiatives begun during the Reagan Administration, but did so using a very different and much more activist structure at the White House.  Congress called for and the administration established in February 1989 a new National Space Council (NSpC) chaired by the Vice President.  The NSpC focused mainly on civil space activity including the Space Exploration Initiative announced on the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.  The Council also formalized the practice of developing detailed and specific policy guidance in subareas such as commercial space policy, national launch strategy, and Landsat remote sensing policy in addition to the traditional overarching national space policy.

NSD 30 (NSPD 1) National Space Policy November 2, 1989

Issues national security space policy principles and implementation guidelines in support of national defense.  Directs development of antisatellite capability as a component of space control.

  • Fact Sheet
  • Directive

 

NSPD 2 Commercial Space Launch Policy, September 5, 1990

Acknowledges commercial space launch benefits that include the interests of national security.

  • Press Release
  • Fact Sheet

 

NSPD 3 U.S. Commercial Space Policy Guidelines, February 11, 1991

Addresses competitive commercial markets as providers of new technologies that may benefit national security.  Establishes guidelines for the relationship between United States Government agencies and the commercial sector.

  • Directive
  • Press Release

 

NSPD 4 National Space Launch Strategy, July 10, 1991

Lists guidelines for Department of Defense and National Aeronautics and Space Administration to create a new launch system.  Any components or other valuables obtained from ballistic missiles not previously released will be reviewed before use.

  • Directive

 

NSPD 5 Landsat Remote Sensing Strategy, February 13, 1992

Orders the preservation of LANDSAT satellites and acknowledges the benefits of the system, including national security uses.

  • Directive
  • Press Release

 

NSPD 6 Space Exploration Initiative, March 13, 1992

Designates National Aeronautics and Space Administration to oversee Space Exploration Initiative with the support of Department of Defense and other participating agencies.  Provides a framework for continued exploration of space including Lunar and Mars missions.

  • Directive
  • Press Release

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