Books from the Space Policy Institute

NASA's Secret Relationships with U.S. Defense and Intelligence Agencies

Edited by James E. David

April 10, 2015

The National Security Archives at the George Washington University recently published a book highlighting many ways in which NASA has cooperated with national security space programs at defense agencies in the United States. Historically, there have been many challenges along the way. The text provides an overview of many cooperative efforts that have come across the economic, social and technical provocations.

Further information can be found online.

After Apollo? Richard Nixon and the American Space Program

John Logsdon

After Apollo?

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong took 'one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.' The success of the Apollo 11 mission satisfied the goal that had been set by President John F. Kennedy just over eight years earlier. It also raised the question 'What do you do next, after landing on the Moon?' It fell to President Richard M. Nixon to answer this question. After Apollo? RichardNixon and the American Space Program traces in detail how Nixon and his associates went about developing their response.

More information on the After Apollo? Richard Nixon and the American Space Program can be found here.

Handbook of Space Security

Contributor: Dr. Scott Pace

In providing a global and coherent analytical approach to space security today, the Handbook focuses on four areas that together define the entire space security area: policies, technologies, applications, and programs. This structure will assure the overall view of the subject from its political to its technical aspects. Internationally recognized experts in each of the above fields contribute, with their analytical synthesis assured by the section editors. Dr. Scott Pace contributed a chapter on U.S.-Japan space security.

More information on the Handbook of Space Security here.

A Guide to Space Law Terms

Editor: Henry R. Hertzfeld

The Elliott School of International Affairs' Space Policy Institute (SPI), in conjunction with the Secure World Foundation (SWF), published the first guide to space law terms in December 2012. Edited by Henry R. Hertzfeld, research professor of space policy and international affairs, the guide is an important initial step to clarifying more than 80 space law words, terms, and phrases.

Download a PDF of the guide

John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon

By John M. Logsdon

John Logsdon's newest book John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon was published by Palgrave Macmillan in December 2010. The book is the definitive study both of the reasons why on May 25, 1961, President Kennedy announced his decision to send Americans to the Moon "before this decade is out," and of the steps he took in his remaining months in office to implement that decision. The book also details Kennedy's preference to cooperate rather than compete in space and his September 1963 invitation to the Soviet Union to join
the United States in a cooperative lunar landing effort.

John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon Facebook page

The Decision to go to the Moon: Project Apollo and the National Interest

By John M. Logsdon

Full Electronic Copy Available Here

Summary from MIT Press:

The decision announced by John F. Kennedy on May 25, 1961, initiating the expedition to the moon, is now documented in full for future students of history. To John Logsdon, whose approach is that of a political scientist examining the influence of men and events on the decision-making process, the decision to land a man on the moon "before this decade is out" was wholly political rather than military, although overtones of implied defense were useful in obtaining congressional support. Moreover, he notes it was made without the support of the scientific community, although their previous research efforts were expected partially to offset this deterrent.

Although the success of the Russian manned orbit and the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs invasion certainly influenced the timing, in the author's interpretation the Kennedy decision manages to escape the narrow definition of a public relations exhibition. In Kennedy's view, he emphasizes, the security of the country itself was inseparably linked to a position of prestige in world opinion. Nor was he a particular enthusiast of space exploration for its own rewards. As he remarked to one of his advisors, "If you had a scientific spectacular on this earth that would be more useful-say desalting the ocean-or something just as dramatic and convincing as space, then we would do that."

The thoroughness of this book as a historical record is evident throughout. NASA historical records and government documents not previously released, including several Presidential papers, are used in the analysis, and the author weaves these records together with subtleties of opinion from interviews with NASA officials and such Kennedy advisors as Theodore Sorenson, McGeorge Bundy, David Bell, and Jerome Wiesner.

Commercial Observation Satellites: At the Leading Edge of Global Transparency

Editors: John C. Baker, Kevin M. O'Connell, Ray A. Williamson

Available from RAND

Summary from ASPRS:

The successful launch of Space Imaging's high-resolution IKONOS commercial observation satellite in September 1999 signaled the beginning of a new era in Earth observation. In the post-Cold War era, international and public access to satellite imagery and related geospatial information products is rapidly expanding. A new generation of high-resolution commercial and civilian imaging satellites is at the leading edge of growing global transparency. These satellite systems promise to offer almost any government, business, and nongovernmental organization the capability to acquire timely overhead images of locations that are geographically remote, politically inaccessible, or simply difficult to comprehend without an overhead perspective. Thus, they can support a wide range of beneficial civil, commercial, and military applications. However, important questions also exist about the commercial viability of these new imaging satellites and whether the dual-use imagery data they produced should be a matter of security concern.

This new book, jointly published by RAND and ASPRS, brings together an international group of experts to analyze the diverse issues presented by the new, higher resolution commercial and civilian observation satellites. With more than two dozen chapters and numerous satellite images, the book authors examine emerging policy issues, provide a survey of the U.S. and many non-U.S. satellite remote sensing programs, and offer case studies on international security applications of satellite imagery.


»SPI Director, Scott Pace is quoted in the Politico article How Elon Musk eposed billions in questionable Pentagon spending discussing the role of ULA in American space capabilities.

»SPI Director, Scott Pace, testifies in front of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Environment on NOAA Utilization of Commercial Remote Sensing Data.

»SPI Director, Scott Pace, testifies in front of the Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation committee on U.S. Human Exploration Goals and Commercial Space Competitiveness. His testimony is available online.

»On October 16, 2015, the Space Policy Institute hosted an informal discussion during which Dr. Philippe Brunet, European Commission Director for Space Policy, Copernicus, and Defense Industry described the plans of the European Union to become the primary European actor in space policy and programs.

»Current SPI Graduate Student Zack Hester's article NASA's Lessons Learned in Long-Duration Spaceflight: The Shuttle-Mir Program was published in Quest Vol. 23, No. 1, 2016.

»SPI Alum Mia Brown wrote an article titled Launch Dilemna: The role of the commercial sector in America's space program which was published by the Brookings Institution.

»Prof. Jack Burns, Vice President Emeritus at the University of Colorado, presented a distinguished lecture "Exploring the Universe from the Moon". It can be viewed online

»Dr. Scott Pace, Director of the Space Policy Institute, spoke on The Implications of U.S. Space Policy Choices at the California Institute of Technology. A video of the lecture is available for viewing here.

»Dr. Scott Pace, Visiting Scholar Deganit Paikowsky, and four SPI alumni attended the 2015 International Astronautical Congress in Jerusalem.

»Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund, SPI Research Professor, became Chair of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Read the announcement here.

»SPI Alum, Stephanie Wan, has been elected as Co-chair of the Space Generation Advisory Council. Congratulations Stephanie! Further information is available online.

»SPI hosts "Careers in Space Policy: A Panel Discussion" with the American Institute of Astronautics and Astrophysics National Capital Section Young Professionals Committee and the GW AIAA Student Chapter.

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