Message to the Congress Transmitting the Annual Report on Aeronautics and Space Activities

January 22, 1986

To the Congress of the United States:

The enclosed report of the Nation's progress in aeronautics and space during calendar year 1984, a record of high achievement, is transmitted to you in accordance with Section 206 of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2476).

Many departments and agencies of the Federal government contributed substantially to this outstanding record, but the major participants are the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) as set forth in the 1958 Act.

Department of Defense efforts in aeronautics and space in 1984 were broad and far-reaching and included programs in military satellite communications crucial for deterring and containing hostilities, a variety of programs in aeronautics to modernize and advance defense helicopters and Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing Aircraft (V/STOL), and, of course, support at various military facilities for launching space vehicles, both civilian and military, and tracking their operations. Also, DOD consolidated research and technology on defense against ballistic missiles under the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization to provide programs and guidance for future decisions with respect to such defenses.

NASA activities in 1984 began to reflect our new commitment to encouraging private U.S. enterprise in space pursuant to Executive Order 12465 and our National Policy on the Commercial Use of Space. NASA activities also in 1984 continued to reflect the legislative mandate of the 1958 Act: to pursue activities for peaceful purposes for the benefit of all mankind, to provide widest dissemination of information resulting from such activities, and to undertake our national reach into space in cooperation with other nations and groups of nations. Our continuing commitment to this mandate was given special emphasis in 1984 when I announced to you and to the Nation on January 25 a plan of action to establish a permanently manned Space Station in the 1990's. I invited other countries to participate in this endeavor which, I believe, will spotlight the incredible potential of space waiting to be used for the betterment of mankind.

My 1984 goal to build a Space Station is a logical extension of U.S. voyages and operations, both national and international, made possible by the Space Shuttle, the vehicle of our current Space Transportation System. We used both transportation systems to place into orbit a broad array of applications satellites in 1984. Among these were satellites to observe Earth and search out its resources, assess and monitor food production, and keep watch for natural disasters so that human lives and property could be protected against them in a timely fashion.

A highlight in 1984 was our demonstration of the ability to manufacture more perfect products in the gravity-free space environment and offer those products for sale and use on Earth.

Another major highlight of U.S. air and space operations in 1984 was the dramatic demonstration of the ability of our astronauts to recover, repair, and redeploy malfunctioning spacecraft. This capability promises substantial savings in both time and money.

Our reach into air and space in 1984 brought us a rich bounty of information essential for developing new technologies for human advancement on Earth and for ensuring the Nation's continued primacy in air and space research. In our reach for the stars, knowledge continues to be both the key and the quest. As this report reveals, it is a grand search in which we all share, one that enriches and advances our Nation and all peoples everywhere.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

January 22, 1986.

Note: The report was entitled ``Aeronautics and Space Report of the President: 1984 Activities.''