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National Archives

Public Papers - 1992

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on Space-Based Global Change Observation


President Bush last week approved a National Space Policy Directive establishing a focused national effort to improve the world's ability to detect and document changes in the Earth, especially the global climate.

This policy directive, which was developed by the National Space Council chaired by Vice President Quayle:

Establishes a comprehensive, multi-agency effort to collect, analyze, and archive space-based observations on global change. This Space-Based Global Change Observation System (S - GCOS) will be led by NASA with participation from other Government Agencies.

Directs that NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) be developed using small and intermediate-sized satellites. Through the use of advanced technology and reduced design complexity, these satellites can be acquired more quickly and at less cost than previously planned. This will allow the timetable for obtaining critical data on global change to be accelerated.

Assigns global change observation functions, including the development of technology, the collection of data, and the archiving of information, to NASA and the Departments of Energy, Commerce (NOAA), Interior, and Defense.

Encourages international cooperation in global change observation from space and directs the Department of State to provide support to the implementing Agencies.

This directive augments previous Presidential directives and recognizes the recommendations of the Earth Observing System Engineering Review Panel.

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