The USA Space Policy in the Context of the Termination of the Arms Race

  • L. V. Zhuravlova National Pedagogical Dragomanov University
  • Y. B. Honchar National Pedagogical Dragomanov University
Keywords: the USA, space, disarmament, the USA-Russian cooperation, commercialization of space activities


The USA Space Policy as one of the leading factors in the process of the arms race’ stop in late 80’s and early 90’s has been examined in the article. American Presidential Directives, international agreements and a wide range of research provided an opportunity to make informative conclusions about the positive role of space topics in the process of a detente and «Cold War» ending. It is important to note that the development of astronautics became one of the spin-offs from «Cold War» and the arms race, as it was the nuclear race logic that stimulated the development of weapons. At the same time, in the process of US-Soviet competition, space became a new sphere of international relations. Therefore, the cooperation in the space sphere became a symbol of the compromise and good will that were required during the most difficult negotiations about arms reduction. The warming and detente periods of international relations have been indicated. Furthermore, the majority of American and Russian researchers conclude that the Strategic Defense Initiative of Reagan became an important element of the USA strategy on the Soviet Union’s pressure, pushing it to more constructive position in negotiations on disarmament. Further results showed the effectiveness of the detente policies’ process of the USA government in this sphere. In addition, the uncertainty in the possibilities of the Soviet economy to respond to the challenge of a new stage of the space systems’ scientific and technological rivalry led to the reduction of armaments of the Soviet Union. At the same time, it was space topics discussion that provided the deepening of the detente process. It is worth to note, that space cooperation relations, which recovered during 80’s-early 90’s, have turned into an important political signal transmission channel between the two countries and caused the facilitating interaction between the parties on wider range of problems. And in the new historical conditions (post-Soviet) the cooperation in space sphere has received more pragmatic incentive. Moreover, the main instrument of the USA’s policy was the transition of space relations on a commercial basis. In conditions of the economic crisis in Russia, it had an undeniable attractiveness for the USA and it allowed saving space industry and the great power status associated with it. To summarize, in terms of the USA’s active course to the broad commercialization of the space industry, which falls at the end of the 1980s, the adjustment of the USA-Russian cooperation has allowed the space industry in both countries to compete effectively on the market of space launches.


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How to Cite
Zhuravlova, L. V., & Honchar, Y. B. (2017). The USA Space Policy in the Context of the Termination of the Arms Race. Grani, 20(3), 68-75.