[FPSPACE] Clinton's space policy

David Portree dsfportree at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 21 14:23:55 EDT 2016


The Soyuz lifeboat idea got rolling under Bush, for one thing. Also a Shuttle docking with Mir and Russian astronauts on the Shuttle, an idea that had bounced around in various contexts since Nixon. Of course, it wasn't called Mir until the mid-1980s - but a US Shuttle docking with a Soviet station had long been discussed. That started even before ASTP.



"On 17 June 1992, U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Russian Federation President Boris Yeltsin signed agreements in Moscow providing for broad space cooperation. A Russian cosmonaut would fly on the Space Shuttle, a U.S. astronaut would live on board the Mir space station, and a Shuttle Orbiter would dock with Mir. The following day, NASA and the Russian Space Agency signed a $1-million contract to jointly assess Russian space technology, including Soyuz-TM, for use in NASA programs."

We also saw early steps toward US/Russian robotic cooperation - examples are a joint US/USSR study of a Mars sample return mission and Russian involvement in a Mars network mission proposed as a Mars Observer follow-on - and US/Russian Venus exploration. As part of that, USGS Astro, where I work, prepared a map of the northern polar region of Venus based on Venera data in cooperation with the Russians for use by the Magellan team. It's the only map in our collection like it. It also has the largest author field in my spreadsheet. Lots of long Russian names.

I wrote a little chronology of cooperation when I was at NASA JSC. It was written starting in September 1992 and published in  February 1993, so covers some of the early Bush-era initiatives. It also covers the tangled lead-up to ASTP.


A lot of folks, mostly detractors, think US/Russian space cooperation was "Clinton's fault," but in fact he inherited it and expanded it.


David S. F. Portree


dsfportree at hotmail.com<mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com>




From: FPSPACE <fpspace-bounces at mail.friends-partners.org> on behalf of John Pike <john at globalsecurity.org>
Sent: Friday, October 21, 2016 9:26 AM
To: fpspace2
Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Clinton's space policy

At 10:15 AM 10/21/2016, David Portree wrote:
>Clinton rescued the US station by continuing and expanding the Bush
>policy of cooperation with Russia

I was there at the time, and played some non-trivial role
in Clinton's space policy and the ISS, but I have no
recollection of any Bush policy of cooperation with Russia

to the contrary, the Bush team was deeply skeptical, fearing
that the bear was only play possum

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