“Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs”



Proposed Studies

on the

Implications of Peaceful Space Activities

for Human Affairs



with the collaboration of:               

  • Jack Baranson

  • Raymond A. Bauer

  • Richard L. Meier

  • Aaron B. Nadel

  • Herbert A. Shepard

  • Herbert E. Striner

  • Christopher Wright



A Report Prepared for the







NOTE: I received the FOIA requests documents including this final report on Friday, August 2, 1996. I scanned the entire document (276 pages) using a Visioneer PaperPort Vx scanner. The entire document was processed through Omni Pro Professional V6.0 to convert it from a scanned document to a text document. The document was then fully edited using Microsoft Word V6.0.1. to correct all errors. The original page numbers of the document are shown with [-page number]. The table of contents refers to the original page numbering. I have made all attempts to insure that the document is identical to the original. There will probably be typos extant in the document. These would result from the conversion process. If you have any comments please feel free to email me at Thank you

- Dan Woolman

Washington, D. C.

December 1960







1.  Introduction Goals and Methods

2.  Comments on the organization And Functions of a NASA Social Science Research Capability

3.  Implications of Satellite-Based Communications Systems

4.  Implications of a Space-Derived Weather Predicting System

5.  The Implications of Technological By-Products

6.  Implications for Government Operations and Personnel Use

7.  Implications for Space Industries

8.  General Implications for International Affairs and Foreign Policy

9.  Attitudes and Values


1.  Introduction, Goals and Methods

 a. Genesis and Intentions

 b. Methodology and Philosophy

2.  Comments on the Organization and Functions of

 a. NASA Social Science Research Capability

 b. Organization

 c. Functions To Be Performed by a Research Facility

 d. Operating Considerations

3.  Implications of Satellite-Based Communications Systems

 a. Technological Characteristics and Their Implications

 b. Factors Affecting Application, Organization, and Control

 c. Uses and Implications

4.  Implications of a Space-Derived Weather Predicting System

 a. Introduction

 b. Weather Control

c.  Probable Organizational Prerequisites for Applying Future Weather Observations Capabilities

 d. Weather Forecast Utilization Implications

5.  The implications of Technological By-Products

 a. By-Product Uses 

6.  Implications for Government Operations and Personnel Use

 a. Manpower in Government Space Programs

b.  Problems of Coordination, Cooperation, and Competition Between Government Agencies

 d. Science Advisory Activities and Government Policy

7.  Implications for Space Industries

 a. Corporate Response to Space Activities

 b. Industry and Government Relations

8.  General Implications for International Affairs and Foreign Policy

 a. Space Policy and Its Implementation

 b.  Research on Potential International Aspects of Space Technology and Science

 c. The Status of Space Programs in International Affairs

9.  Attitudes and Values

 a.  Implications of Space Activities for National Goals and Tomorrow’s World

 b. Special Publics

 c. Possible Implications for the General Public



Return to The Brookings Report














The Brookings Institution

Washington, D. C.

November 30, 1960


Chairman, Committee on Long-Range Studies

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Washington, D. C.


DEAR MR. JOHNSON: I am pleased to transmit herewith a report on “Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs,” which has been prepared for your Committee on Long-Range Studies of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, pursuant to Section 102(c) of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958

This section specifies that the “aeronautical and space activities of the United States shall be so conducted as to contribute materially” to several objectives, among which is “(4) establishment of long-range studies of the potential benefits to be gained from the opportunities for, and the problems involved in the utilization of aeronautical and space activities for peaceful and scientific purposes.”


In seeking assistance in carrying out the objectives of this section, NASA, through your Committee, and the Brookings Institution agreed that there was a wide range of studies in the social sciences that could be made of the potential benefits and problems arising from the peaceful use of space. In fact, the full range of possible studies was so great that some guidelines bad to be established to aid in the orderly selection and proper support of those studies that would contribute most effectively to the policies and purposes of the Congress as stated in the National Aeronautics and Space Act. It was believed, therefore, that if a program of such studies were to be developed, NASA would be in a better position to discharge its statutory responsibilities. The attached report is designed to assist in the development of that kind of comprehensive and long-term program of research and study. The report recommends for the consideration of NASA a wide range of studies regarding the social, economic, political, legal, and international implications of the use of space for peaceful and scientific purposes.


The agreed upon multiple objectives of the report would be well served if it generates research activities within as well as outside of NASA, in accordance with the interests of those in the academic community, private research organizations, industry, and other government agencies. Therefore, some material is included which, while familiar to NASA, is felt to be necessary background for those who have not been close to some of the problems discussed.


The Brookings staff members and the consultants responsible for the study collaborated through a series of monthly two-day conferences. In addition, over 200 people were interviewed throughout the course of the project. These persons by contributing their experience, imagination, and critical insight have been of great assistance in the preparation of this report. Throughout the preparation of the report the Institution has bad the wholehearted cooperation of your Committee on Long-Range Studies, whose assistance the Institution acknowledges with gratitude.


Midway in the project, the views of the staff were evaluated and enhanced by the participation at a two-day conference of:

Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Director, United Nations Project, Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; George Clement, Assistant to the President, the RAND Corporation; Deane Davis, Project Engineer, Centaur, Convair Astronautics, Alfred J. deGrazia, Director, Center for Applied Social Research, New York University; Joseph M. Goldsen, Senior Staff, the RAND Corporation; H. Field Haviland, Jr., Director of Foreign Policy Studies, the Brookings Institution; Bert F. Hoselitz, Director, Research Center in Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago; Melvin Kranzberg, Editor, Technology and Culture, Case Institute of Technology; Daniel Lerner, Professor of International Communications, Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Jiri Nebnevajsa, Professor, Department of Sociology, Columbia University; Jack C. Oppenheimer, Executive Secretary, NASA Committee on Long-Range Studies,, Harvey Perloff, Director, Program of Regional Studies, Resources for the Future; Henry W.. Riecken, Head, Office of Social Science, National Science Foundation; and Oscar Schachter, Director, General Legal Division, United Nations.


The study was directed by Donald N. Michael, who is primarily responsible for the interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations in, and the final drafting of this report. Collaborating with him were Jack Baranson and Herbert E. Striner of the Brookings Institution; Raymond A. Bauer, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration; Richard L. Meier, Professor, School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan; Aaron B. Nadel, Technical Military Planning Operation, General Electric Company; Herbert A. Shepard, Professor of Behavioral Science, Case Institute of Technology; and Christopher Wright, Executive Director, Council for Atomic Age Studies, Columbia University. Substantial contributions in the form of work papers on specific topics were made by Jack Baranson and Mary E. Robinson of the Brookings Institution; Curtis H. Barker, Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Earl W. Lindveit, Washington, D. C.; and Messrs. Nadel, Wright, and Bauer (with Edward E. Furash, Assistant Editor, Harvard Business Review). Research assistance was provided by Ruth Darmstadter, Leonard Schwartz, and Jane Webbink. Charles Clapp, Robert W. Hartley, H. Field Haviland, Jr., Bert G. Hickman, Mark Massel, and Ralph R. Watkins, all of the Brookings staff, reviewed sections of the report; appreciation is expressed to them as well as to Kathleen Sproul, who edited the transcript. The study was made under the general supervision of James M. Mitchell, Director of the Conference Program on Public Affairs.


The Brookings Institution is particularly indebted to the following people who took time out of their busy schedules to review specific sections of the draft report: Lloyd V. Berkner, President, Associated Universities, Inc.; Scott Buchanan, Consultant, Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions; John J. Corson, Director, McKinsey and Company; Cora Du Bois, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University-, Morton M. Grodzing, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Chicago; Caryl P. Haskins, President, Carnegie Institution of Washington; James R. Killian, Chairman of the Corporation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Herbert E. Krugmen, Director of Research, Raymond Loewy Associates; Nathan Maccoby, Professor, Mass Communications, Stanford University; Margaret Mead, Associate Curator of Ethnology, American Museum of Natural History; Rhode Metraux, Associate Directori Project on the Factor of Allopsychic Orientation in Mental Health, American Museum of Natural History; Charles Morris, Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Florida; Oscar Schachter, Director, General Legal Division, United Nations; Gerald W. Siegel, Lecturer on Business Administration, Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration; and Stephen B. Witbey, Director, Public Affairs Studies, Survey Research Center, University of Michigan.


Finally, it should be noted that the time available for the completion of this report has been short in view of the broad range of subjects and the new areas of research to be considered. The authors have made a pioneering exploration into new fields of investigation in the attempt to foresee types of research which space activities make desirable. The treatment, findings, and recommendations are those of the authors and, in accordance with usual procedures, do not necessarily reflect the views of other members of the Brookings staff, its administrative officers, or members of its Board of Trustees.


Robert D. Calkins











1.         In November 1959 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration contracted with the Brookings Institution to “undertake... the design of a comprehensive and long-term program of research and study regarding the social, economic, political, legal, and international implications of the use of space for peaceful and scientific purposes.”

2.     The long-term program of research set out in the report (and briefly outlined in this Summary) includes:

a.     Sufficient description and evaluation of speculations on the implications of space activities to provide a basis for judging which implications may have sufficient impact on human affairs to merit research.

b.     Specification of criteria for selection of high priority research.

c.     Specification, when feasible of high priority research areas for initiating a long-range research program; specification of other research areas which will extend the utility of the initial research; and specification of research which may become central under later circumstances.

d.     Suggestions as to methods, persons, and organizations that might assist the conduct of research. (The suggestions are made chiefly through footnote citations of pertinent publications and projects and are therefore not included in this Summary, which carries no footnotes.)

e.     Suggestions on the organization and function of a NASA research capability to implement the program (Chapter 2).


3.     Space activities require great investments of money, men, material, and creative effort and thereby compete with the needs of other areas of human endeavor. They contribute to rapid rates of technological change and thereby give rise to social and personal readjustment problems. Thus it is most desirable that the problems and opportunities they may imply for society be understood. Since the potentialities of space activities are wide ranging, so, too, must be a research program on their implications: examined herein are the problems and opportunities that may be introduced by hardware (such as a weather satellite forecasting system); events (such as the adventures of astronauts in space); and ideas (such as those embodied in discussions of the degree to which national prestige may be dependent on success in space accomplishments), certain

implications may be directly related to aspects of a specific social
environment; in such cases, these aspects will be examined.

4.         Research on the implications of space activities requires a reasonably clear picture of the associated larger social context. Given the complex problems facing various components of world society and the technological developments, that are believed possible in fields other than space, it appears impractical to speculate beyond the next twenty years, and perhaps even beyond the next ten. Even within this time span, however, the consequences of space activities can be foreseen only in part, since the effect of any given development in space may be vitiated by unexpected but contingent scientific, technological, or a society developments. This report, therefore, does not attempt to predict what will happen to society as a result of space activities. Rather, it poses questions about what might happen and specifies contingent factors which may affect the likelihood of one implication being realized rather than another,


5.         Certain potential products or consequences of space activities imply such a high degree of change in world conditions that it would be unprofitable within the purview of this report to propose research on them. Examples include a controlled thermonuclear fusion rocket power source and face-to-face meetings with extraterrestrials.


6.     The impact of innovation is no respecter of differences in academic disciplines. To stress the interdisciplinary nature of research on the implications of space activities and to permit a coherent exploration of specific products, events, and ideas the report is organized into chapters that (except for Chapter 2) each represent a major area of problems and opportunities. Within these major areas., all pertinent aspects of the problems are discussed, whether economic, political, or social, or combinations thereof. Certain chapters necessarily overlap, since some of them cover general aspects of problems which are specific to the subjects of other chapters.


7.     Time, resources, and especially the lack of a single formulation of social science theory, broad-ranging enough to encompass the variety of problems involved, imposed arbitrary limitations on the amount of research undertaken to back the speculation underlying the report. Thus, the report is not exhaustive in its research recommendations, but the descriptions of the problem areas (developed through interviews, conferences, and reading) are intended to provide the reader with a basis for proposing specific research projects in connection with the study areas recommended here. It is important to note that, as a consequence of this approach, the first specific research project to be undertaken with regard to many of the problems here discussed should be an assessment of the literature to determine what existing knowledge, if any, can be applied directly and what further study needs to be done.


8.         Suggesting a comprehensive research program makes it necessary to examine the range of implications needing study, irrespective of who might conduct the research. Not all -the research suggested should or could be sponsored directly by NASA; some proposals are more properly within the interests of other groups.


9.         “Research” is broadly used herein to refer to a variety of approaches, including “think-pieces,” sophisticated logical and/or mathematical evaluations and analyses, and empirical studies in the field. Studies would range from broad programmatic research to detailed inquiries. Most of the projects are phrased in terms of space activities, but many of the suggested investigators could as well be stimulated by or applied to a number of other major on-going or contemplated scientific developments. Examination of the implications of space activities also provides a new standpoint from which to observe human behavior before, during., and after social change resulting from innovation. This, the proposed research program offers extraordinary opportunities for fundamental social science research as well as applied.


10.       The recommended high priority research areas (listed at the end of each Summary section) are intended to provide NASA with a “mix” of projects to be an initial basis for a long-range research program. The priority criteria emphasize:


a.    That the results of the research would have important applications to the social consequences of specific space activities.

b.     That the study is urgent in order to identify and resolve operating and policy problems associated with imminent or on-going developments.

c.     That the study is non-deferrable in that if the data and methods are to be available when needed it is necessary to begin acquiring them now;

d.     That the study would significantly forward the development of a program of peaceful and scientific uses of space.

e.     That the study would, through the development of methodology, facts, or theory, contribute exceptionally to understanding or foreseeing the social implications of space activities.


Which projects NASA may choose to implement, even among those which might be thought of as urgent, will depend on factors not within the purview of this report, including budget, availability of research capabilities, important events which have transpired, and the extent to which previous research has paid off.


11.       Research areas are included in the report which are not now considered of high priority, but which are likely to become so as social developments and space activities evolve and as high priority research is completed.


12.       No assumption has been made as to whether that or not specific studies are already underway. If an area recommended for study is presently being competently researched, the priorities here assigned to the area would alter.


13.       The magnitude and direction of a long-range research program on the social effects of space activities will depend on the organization NASA establishes to select, monitor, and conduct the studies. One of the most pressing and continuing research challenges for this capability will be to:

• develop effective methods to detect incipient implications of space activities and to insure that their consequences are understood.


14.   Each section of this Summary corresponds to a chapter of the full report and sets forth the main points of the chapter and the recommended high priority research for the problem area. In the body of the report, the presentation of potential implications involves discussion of and suggested research on all the issues that seem to be pertinent to a problem area including some that do not warrant research at the present stage of the problem area's development, and some that it would be inefficient to study until other recommended research is completed. This supportive discussion constitutes the bulk of the report and in a summary can only be suggested. Its intent, however, is to make clear (1) the significance of the research recommended, (2) the variety of the projects implicit in the research areas, (3) the order in which related projects could be carried out, and (4) the opportunities for approaching various problems in broad or narrow contexts of research and application. Therefore, although for some readers this Summary chapter may provide sufficient information ­

-since these four clarifications may not be of central interest to them -- itis assumed that the potential researcher will find it essential to read the body of the report.





1.         An integral part of the research program as proposed herein is the development of a research facility capable of conducting and evolving a series of long-range research projects pertinent to NASA's directive to study the problems and opportunities implied in peaceful and scientific space activities.


2.         To develop within NASA an understanding of the need for these studies and support for their conduct, to assure the maximum likelihood that the research findings will be applied, and to keep in close touch with the technical developments which presage social implications, it is recommended here that the research capability consist of a NASA in­house core of senior social scientists, which would have available to it over time the services of outside organizations. Which functions can best be conducted in-house and which might be handled through the services of outside organizations can only be determined as the scope and pace of the program evolves.


3.         The functions that a social science research facility must be able to perform if it is to organize and implement a long-range research program include the following:


a.    Identification of problems to be researched. (This report is intended to be a major aid in this area, but its suggestions will need frequent revision, redefinition, and supplementation.)

b.     Selection of high priority research. (This report suggests criteria for selecting research, but these must be supplemented by criteria pertinent to NASA goals and circumstances.)

c.     Determination of resource allocations, including funds, available research personnel, and field situations for specific studies.

d.     Informing and stimulating potential researchers in other government organizations, universities, foundations, nonprofit organizations, and private research organizations.

a.     Developing and stimulating potential supporting facilities to provide research tools and other services.

f.      Selecting, developing, and implementing research proposals.

g.     Liaison - - with divisional groups within NASA, with potential research personnel, and with interested government agencies whose research or activities have significance for the social implications of space activities.

h.     Assessing the progress and direction of research in progress, to insure that the studies continue to be pertinent to the evolving situation and that their quality merits continued support.

i.     Distributing the research findings to those for whom they were specifically developed and to other pertinent professional people and organizations.

J.      Assisting in the application of the findings. (Arrangements regarding applicability of findings should be initially planned, with the participation of the user, during the early definition and selection of the research to be undertaken.)

k.     Keeping track of pertinent social science research that is applicable to space activities research, but not a part of NASA's program.


4.     In establishing an organization to fulfill these functions, three general points are important:


a.    The research which NASA will regard as appropriate to sponsor directly will vary with circumstances. Systematic means should be devised for (1) anticipating the important studies which other research organizations, foundations, and government agencies might be better adapted to carry out and (2) encouraging participation by other research facilities in the program.

b.     Recommended research will vary in duration from a few months to several years. Operations procedures for supporting research will differ for longer and shorter time spans, and these procedures will need to be developed.

c.     Research is also a device for training researchers. It will be beneficial to support a certain amount of research whose aim is in part to help train social scientists to deal with the implications for society of space activities.


5.     To provide the necessary intellectual stimulus for the development of a vigorous program and to carry out the intricate and varied tasks that will be required, it is recommended that no fewer than three senior social scientists of high competence compose the professional staff of the in­house core. Their first tasks are seen as including:


a.     Selecting first-order research.

b.     Establishing in-house relationships.

c.     Establishing outside connections with the research fraternity.

d.     Laying the organizational groundwork for the conduct of the first­order research.

e.     Establishing a library of selected social science materials especially useful for fulfilling the functions of the facility.


6.         The research facility, as a staff function, should have access to those concerned with the over-all interests of NASA. Formal arrangements should also be made to insure the social science staff access to information on technical, political, and economic aspects of the space developments that derive from NASA's divisional activities. Such information will familiarize the social scientists with the space program's operating problems and with the possible research opportunities implicit in them.

7.         A person familiar with both the social sciences and the technological activities of NASA and versed in interagency relationships should be responsible for arranging interagency liaison so that research on the social implications of space activities will be forwarded efficiently through the sharing of information on pertinent activities.

8.         A committee is needed to assess and review research in progress.

9.         A committee analogous to the Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences is needed to keep the in-house organization cognizant of on-going or anticipated social developments related to an evaluation of the implications of space activities.

10.       Aside from the liaison function and the awarding of contracts and/or grants, other functions could, as time and circumstances dictate, gradually be transferred to outside organizations. However, the in-house core will need to keep in close touch with assisting services and with personnel carrying out research projects to insure participation at all stages of those who will most directly use the findings and to maintain its essential role as the spark and drive of the program.





1.     Involved scientists and engineers believe that in a relatively few years the world will be wrapped in a communications net based on the several advantages of communication satellites. The problems and opportunities associated with financing the development and application of communication satellites, with legal and political arrangements for their use, and with their specific applications are closely related to their technological characteristics. Research and development efforts have been concentrated on two operational types of systems: the passive reflector (e.g., “Echo”), which requires very large ground-based transmitting and receiving antennas and powerful transmitters, and the active repeater, which is itself a complex transmitting and receiving station, and thus requires much less large ground-based transmitters. Under many circumstances, signals from repeater satellites could be received directly on private receivers. Careful scheduling is required, however, if active satellites are not to be overloaded, whereas passive satellites can be used anytime they are in range of any facility with transmitting and receiving antennas. To varying degrees, technological problems remain to be solved for both systems -- problems having to do with system capacity, reliability, weight, and the use of higher frequencies for radio and television.


Organizational problems and implications

1.         The economics, technology, organization, and utilization of satellite communications cannot be resolved wholly within the framework of the United States' interests and operating methods. Since such a system will be of major utility to international communications, planning must take into account the potential users abroad and the problems that international use will imply. Research will be necessary to delineate and suggest resolutions for such organizational and operational problems as these:

a.   Frequency allocation and/or sharing. Here and abroad, frequency control is already rife with economic, social, and legal problems which would be intensified by the broad coverage and relative non­directionality of satellite signals and the different frequency control requirements of active and passive systems.

b.   International agreements or comparability of equipment components used by various nations and produced by various manufacturers.

c.   Privileges and priorities of satellite use. Cost-sharing arrangements may be more difficult to enforce with passive systems, and the scheduling of messages requires special agreements when the active satellite system is used.

d.   Receiver antenna control and sharing (and in some cases, transmitter antenna, too).

e.   Access to audiences: privileges and priorities. Active satellites provide better opportunities for control over transmission. Passive satellites provide better opportunities for control over reception.

f.   Program content control, including: amount and type of propaganda, advertising, entertainment, information, and education.


2.         Central to the resolution of these organizational problems are the national philosophies which have defined the structure of local operational procedure and organization of present telecommunication facilities. The difference between one philosophy and another as to the purposes and proper use of telecommunications may have substantial implications for the way satellite systems might be used and for the negotiations and organizational inventions necessary to reconcile competing interests within each involved nation, competing national interests, and international interests. Systematic study of these problems is recommended.


3.         The United States' role in developing and using a satellite communications system is complexly bound up with questions covering the relationships of our national (government) interests and private profit motives. For example, under what circumstances should the United States government provide launching facilities and research and development in connection with satellite development? If taxpayers are to finance portions of the technological development of communication satellites, what provisions are to be made about patent ownership and satellite utilization? If the government is the major developer of a satellite communications system, what should its policy be about present privately owned and operated systems which may be displaced or made obsolete?


4.         The possibility that the USSR and/or other nations will develop competing communications satellites has implications that need study. Further, some informed observers argue that only by placing satellite system radio and television facilities under United Nations or other international agency auspices can frictions resulting from their use be minimized and the benefits maximized. Anticipation of either competition or internationalization would affect the evolving relationship between the United States government and private enterprise concerning development and use Of a satellite system, since private incentive to invest in research and development depends on the profitability that could be expected from the system's operation.



Possible uses and their implications


1.         With the initiation of a satellite communications system, large amounts of the newly available channel capacity will most probably first occur for radio telephony rather than for television. High-speed, inexpensive voice communications should provide- a far-flung business and other organizations with a further capability for extending themselves through the increase in control and coordination thus made possible. Ever larger organizational entities might thus be encouraged, to the detriment of existing small organizations. Alternately, the increased communications capacity might increase the ability of small organizations to survive, through better control and coordination of their resources. The implications of these alternatives and their consequences for organizational growth and stability merit study.


2.         The advantages of increased voice-to-voice communication for world diplomacy are not clear, since the present pace of diplomatic communications is sometimes deemed already too swift for careful analysis. However, the availability of sufficient telephone channels might encourage the evolution of an international “secretariat” at the working level, in the long run more identified with task goals than specific national interests. Research should help clarify the special problems and opportunities for diplomatic relations.


3.         World-wide data search, coding, retrieval, and processing and the integration of far-flung systems operating automatically via computers and feedback control would be made possible by large-capacity communication satellites (or by their freeing-up of conventional facilities for this use), to the great benefit of scholarship, science, business, and government. Handling of data for a world-wide weather forecasting facility (as discussed in Section IV) and coding the contents of the major libraries of the world for machine search are important examples of this utility. Substantial increases in computer production and data-coding personnel would be required, and computer programming and system building and maintenance would involve extensive operations. international standards of component compatibility and reliability would be mandatory, thus further extending multinational interdependence. The social, economic, and political prerequisites and consequences of these potential developments need study, especially because such facilities may provide a tool and stimulus for a concerted attack on the problem of efficiently using the overwhelming amount of data presently threatening to swamp this civilization.


4.         In view of the possibly radical increase in the pace of organizational activities resulting from high-speed interlocking of data, decisions, and actions, it is not clear whether more or less strain would be put on decision makers. Further, the opportunities for coping with increased organizational complexity could make society vulnerable to serious disruption should the communication system break down. The possibility of tying together data, men-, and decisions in a world-wide interdependence has vast implications for attitudes about man and his meaning in the context of his society. Preliminary inquiry may help provide perspective and prepare the way for more systematic study as the situation evolves.


5.         The use of satellite-based radio and TV for teaching in underdeveloped areas has been much discussed. However, unless the development of satellite based, multichannel TV is accelerated specifically for this purpose, other more conventional teaching means may develop to a degree that would challenge the advantages of education via telecommunications. In any case, behaving and believing according to the standards and information conveyed by telecommunications involves a number of complex cultural and psychological factors, especially in an area which may lack the literacy and at least some degree urbanism normally associated with learning from TV and radio. Research is clearly necessary to specify and understand these pertinent factors. Problems are also posed and study is needed in regard to the capacities in such localities for distribution, maintenance, and replacement of receivers


6.         In already advanced nations, the immediacy of exposure to worldwide events and ideas via radio and TV could affect general education levels. However, important changes in perspective that might lead to greater tolerance and understanding merely on the basis of this exposure are not guaranteed by the evidence so far available. Research will help clarify the factors involved here.

Using satellite communications for formal learning sessions may not be generally efficient in view of expected developments in film and video  tape libraries, teaching machines, and air-borne TV. Nevertheless, special “live” events, which otherwise would have to be taped and distributed singly to local schools or local transmitters, could be presented by an active repeater system if such problems as scheduling and time zone differences can be solved. A satellite system could also transmit TV tapes from central libraries to local schools for retranscription. The costs of TV tapes might thus be lessened, and access would be provided to a much larger and up-dated library of materials than many schools otherwise could afford. The social and economic costs and benefits of these schemes will need careful examination.


7.         A combination of powerful active satellites and simple receivers and antennas could be used to enhance or splinter political identification via propaganda, incitement, or information in areas lacking local ground­based transmitters. Research will be necessary to determine under what circumstances such communication methods would be sufficiently effective to merit their use -- and if effective, how to control their use.

8.         If large TV charnel capacity becomes available -- via satellite or via conventional facilities freed-up by the satellite -- conferences via multiple closed circuit linkages are possible. This would save time, inconvenience, and physical risk and permit a greater marshaling of ground-based resources for each participant. Technological capabilities and social, psychological, and economic considerations will decide whether such conferences would become routine. Should they become routine, the consequences might be serious for the travel and hotel industries, for which conferences of all kinds have been of great importance.

To provide social criteria for decisions regarding communication system design, research should determine:

•    The specific sources of demand for increased communications capability, and the assumptions made by those claiming that they would pay for the use of satellite services, about the capabilities of the communication system for meeting their needs. What are the implications for system design?


An important group of decisions related to government policy for communications system development support would benefit from study to discover:

•     The advantages and disadvantages of various means whereby the government might fulfill its obligations to private enterprise, the nation as a whole, and special interest groups with regard to: supporting the development of a satellite system; ownership; frequency assignments; allocating profits and costs; and assuring the use of the product in the best interests of the nation. What are the most appropriate and effective roles for government, private enterprise, and other organizations in financing, developing, owning, controlling, using, and negotiating for the use of satellite communications domestically and internationally?


A good place to begin studies which will help in eventual negotiations on satellite use is to determine:

•     What economic, cultural, and technological factors, in each nation or region involved, could complicate or facilitate the conciliation of interests in using and controlling satellite-based communications?


What technological, economic, organizational, and legal arrangements could be developed to overcome specific major

difficulties for conciliation as detected in the above? To take advantage of specific major opportunities?


Since the benefits for society could depend on the organizational approach taken, and since these problems are better studied before imminent developments obscure Issues, research should be begun now to determine:

•    The cost and benefits of turning over to an international agency those communication functions which are inherently unprofitable for private interests and/or which have the potential for stimulating international unrest. Under what conditions would such a transfer of function be in the interests of the United States? In the event the facilities, were internationalized, what activities might be prohibited or subjected to international control and what should be the functions and powers of such an inter national body?


Because the effective use of satellites for teaching purposes will require much more understanding of learning factors in relation to telecommunications than we now possess and because the application of such findings would be very important for world society, it is most desirable to begin now to:

•     Apply and further develop knowledge of and methods for under standing the factors -- such as, culture habits, literacy, subject matter, auspices, format, and opportunities to use what is learned -- which affect the degree and type of learning from telecommunications. These studies must be aimed at meshing the content and purposes of telecommunications with other forms of communications from interested government groups, private organizations, and international agencies.