EUROPEAN SPACE DEVELOPMENTS

Created: 5/25/1962

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CURRENT INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY SUMMARY

EUROPEAN SPACE DEVELOPMENTS

a yearalf of negotiations, an organizational basis has been establishedooperative Western European program for the exploration of outer space. The convention about to be signed bv thearticipants* setsuropean Space Research OrganizationO) to develop scientific satellite experiments and to conduct related research. ESRO is patterned after the highly successful European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN)ten years ago by virtually the same countries forln the nuclear field.

In addition,f these countries are also members--along withthe European Launcher Development Organizationonth ago for the development of space-launching vehicles. Its program was inspired in part by Britain's desire to salvage some of Its Investment in an abandoned military missile. ELDO has the drawback that it wouldehicleless advanced thanUS vehicles. It could also contribute to the development of military capabilities by Individual countries in the missile field. Nevertheless, ELDO's members consider their cooperative program necessary ln view of the high costsand to enable Western

'Belgium, Denrrark, Prance, West Cernvxny, Italy, the Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and tne United

"Belgium, Prance, West Ger-mxny, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Europe to participate fully ln the evolution of the apace age.

Deyelopment and Organization of ESRO

Informal discussion of European space cooperation began lnut formal negotiations date from an II-nation conference at CERN In Geneva that fall. This conferencereparatory committee headed by Britain's Sir Harry Uassey and charged it with drafting concrete proposals for an research program, and supporting budget. These proposals were largely complete by last January, but conclusion of the necessary convention has been delayed for several months by difficulties over voting rights, distribution of costs, and location of the various ESRO Installations.

The top policy authority of ESRO will be the council composed of two representatives from each of the membera secretariat seated ln Paris will provide executive direction ln the organization. The major ESRO establishments will be the space technology centerEC) In theatpace center (ESDAC) at Darmstadt, Westanpaco laboratory (ESLAB) in Tiniv;aunch rangeANGE) near Klruna, Sweden. Additional tracking andstations will also be constructed to supplement such well-developed facllltios as Britain's Jodrell Bank. ESTEC, the moat Important of the new ESRO Installations, will be staffed by aneople engaged ln applied research

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space technology andfor Iho development and manufacture of Instruments for rockets and satellites.

E3lt0 Budget and Research Program

E3R0 expenditures are expected toillion in the first three years2 million In the next three,elling Unit6 million for the first eight-year program. As In the case of CERN, financial contributions have been levied In proportion to national Income, but nocountry Is expected tomore thanercent of the total budget,

ESTO planners expect this relatively modest budget torogram of space

activities of progressively increasing complexity and During the initial three years of operation, in which the various installations, laboratories, and tracking stations would be set up, space experiments would be restricted to investigations of the upper atmosphere utilizing bothand biological specimens. Thesothe Kiruna range--would carry payloadsounds to altitudes ofiles. 3mall satellites inounds to altitudesbe attempted In the fourth year; space probes and larger satellites upounds would follow In the sixth year;unar satellite is planned for the seventh.

Purpose and Origin of ELDO

t0 convention provides for no specific source ofequipment for these experiments, and theis ostensibly free to choose from whatever equipment isin Europe or offered by the US or the USSR. TheLauncher Developmentwas founded, however, on the expectationould choose to rely on ELDO-developed vehicles, at least for the latter phases of Its Initial space

FLDO Is largely theof Britain's Minister of Aviation Thorneycroft and was conceived In the aftermath of the Macmillan government'sin0 to abandon its Blue Streak ballisticsprogram after an estimated expenditurehorneycroft proposed that the Blue Streak and the UK'snight become the basisEuropean" space vehicle. This scheme was turned down by the ESRO planners, but the Blue Streak was subsequently accepted after the French were mollified by the substitutionrench rocket fpr the Black Knight. Paris and London Jointlythe conference in1 from which the FLDOeventually emerged,

ELDO Organization and Program

The ELDO program as finally agreed to calls for thebyhree-stage rocket, the first stage of which will be the Blue Streak, the second stage the French Veronique, and theew rocket to be developed by West Germany. Italy has been allotted the design, development, andof the test satellite; Belgium will supply the guidance system; and the Netherlands will direct the workong-range

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telemetry link. Test firings of both the modified Blue Streak and of the completed multistage vehicle will be from the foomera range ln Australia, which was constructed for the Blue itrcak and on which little If anywork will be required.

London has had to agree to pay one third of the0 cost of this development program, thebeing financed by the otlior participants in proportion to their national Incomes. This presumably reflects ln part the comparatively limitedfor subcontracting In the conversion of the Blue Streak, although the Italians lnhave pressed hard toIn every phase of the program. Both Italy and West Germany strongly opposed having ELDO bound too firmly to the Blue Streak project and insisted on a review after two years to "take account of the progress made and tothe possibilities for the future"

Security ConsiderstIons

From the beginning, tho ELDO project has caused the US concern that lt wouldto the wider dissemination of missile technology and to the development of military capabilities ln this field.

As drafted last fall, the ELDO convention provided merely that the organization should not concern Itself with military applications of space vehicle launchers and statedthat each member should have the right to procure "for any purpose of its own"Jointly developed by ELDO.

Largelyesult of UShowever, the charter was modified to provide that ELDO will be concerned only with peaceful applications ofequipment, which may beby the members for peaceful purposes only.

The US also soughtin the ELDO charter against release of Information to Communist-oriented countries, butcold war extension" was objected toajority of the participants, and the most that could be agreed to was an article providing that information could be released to other countries only byconsent of the members. However, the UK has offered therivate undertaking to veto any auch release to Communlat-orlented states and has also agreed that Information obtained from the US in the development of the Blue Streak and related specifically to missile-delivery capability will not be given to other ELDO members.

Nevertheless, ELDO provides no organizational control over the application of ELDO-acquired information to the development of Independent missile forces.

The ESRO-ELDO Potential

In assessing the ESRO-ELDO potential, lt must be borne ln mind that both organizations will complement existing and ln some cases well-established national space programs. The value of the cooperative approach will therefore be Judged In part by the extent to which ltin discouraging wasteful duplication.

So far as ESRO is concerned, most observers consider lt Is

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a promising beginning Id

this respect. ESRO Intends to cientific forum to discuss, guide, and coordinate national and Joint space efforts; to provide central research, technology, and management facilities to supplement national capability; and to encourage Interchange of thought and experience by visiting and research fellowships. Thus, ESRO is geared In considerable part to the creationolid, scientific basispace program, taking intothat the available talent Is both dispersed andInexperienced.

The joint spacecontemplated by ESRO,not expected to yield significant scientific data initially, are similarly geared to the development of experience for more sophisticated ESRO is thereforedo-it-yourself" approach, but lt has nevertheless welcomed NASA adviceoncerning cost estimates and tracking, and it would like to have some sort of liaison with the USSR. According to the secretary of the preparatory committee, ESRO has no intention of competing with either the US or the USSR but still feels there are many areas in which thecanseful.

ELDO Reservations

Since NASA is prepared to sell ESRO the Scout and the Thor, and will cooperate with ESRO in the use of the Atlas for experiments of mutual the decision of the Western Europeans to proceed with the development of anEuropean launching system appears largely motivated by political, commercial, and prestige considerations.

The ELDO planners havecontended thatdvanceeconomic androvide European technicians and industry with

much-needed experience in missile technology; ventually supply European spice programsooster lees expensive per unit than any comparablereclude permanent European reliance on American-produced launchers. ELDO'5 pro-moters have especially stressed that an Independent launching capability la necessary before European countries can enter the communications satellite field.

While most of thesehave been questioned by ELDO's critics, the organization is in keeping with the trenda revivified, moreEurope. Fven thosewho Initially were strongly opposed to ELDO have beenby the argument that the Europeans cannot afford to see the space race permanently monopolized by the U3 and the USSR. American offers ofequipment have not, forconvinced the Dutch, who have said that Europe canneeded technology only if the US goes further and agrees both to European manufacture of American rockets under license and to active EuropeanIn the development of new rockets.

Against these considerations must be balanced the fact that ELDO, Inehicle which may be entirely suitable for European purposes, will be covering ground already passed by the US and the USSR. Cost estimates, moreover, havebeen set too low, and American experts question that the European vehicle will be available, as ELDO anticipates, at half the unit cost of similar American equipment. Finally, given the advance which American and Soviet boosters are expected to be making in the meantime, these experts also question that ELDO'sroughly twice the weight-lifting capability of the Thor-Agenawill have the useful lifetime Of five years which ELDO expects.

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