Soviets Seek a World Space Organization
The Soviet Union proposed Friday creating a world space organization under U.N. auspices and offered to launch foreign satellites with Soviet rockets as part of an international space cooperation project.
The offer, reported Friday by the official news agency Tass, came in a letter by Premier Nikolai Ryzhkov to U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar. In the letter, the Soviets again offered a “Star Peace” program to counter Star Wars, as the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative is commonly known.
Ryzhkov said in detailing the plan: “This is the concrete Star Peace program proposed by the Soviet Union to the world community, which firmly believes that the terrestrial civilization should enter the 21st Century with this program and not with the insane Star Wars plans.”
The term Star Peace was a Soviet media creation in response to Star Wars--the U.S. research program for a space-based missile defense system--and has been used as a theme for children in drawing posters or composing songs and poems against Star Wars.
Would Pool Resources
The new program, as seen by Moscow, would pool the resources of developed nations for joint space exploration projects and advancement of space technology in communications, navigation, medicine and other sciences.
A Soviet plan for an international program exploring peaceful uses of space was presented last year in a U.N. resolution.
Moscow’s offer Friday to help other nations launch satellites may kindle some interest after rocket booster failures this year in the U.S. space program and in the European Space Agency’s Ariane project.
The Soviet proposal for a world space organization, however, appears to be conditioned on agreements beforehand to ban space weapons and halt all nuclear tests--two Soviet arms control proposals that have not met with U.S. approval.
Ryzhkov restated Soviet appeals for renunciation of space weapons by both superpowers and a halt to all nuclear explosions.
“The process of nuclear disarmament would be harmoniously combined with the development of cooperation among states in peaceful space exploration,” the letter said. “A considerable part of the resources released as the nuclear arms arsenals are dismantled and those resources which can be absorbed by the Star Wars program could be used to promote that cause, common to the whole of humanity.”