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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 545-10
June 28, 2010

Defense Secretary Robert Gates Statement on the National Space Policy

                “Today, I’m pleased to welcome the release of the President’s National Space Policy.  I fully support the vision it lays out.  This policy clearly articulates the right space policies and priorities for our nation, and is also a pledge that the United States will maintain the leadership and capabilities in space imperative for our national security.

                “Our continued presence in space is vital to our national security.  Space-based capabilities are critical to our military’s ability to navigate accurately, strike precisely, and gather battle space awareness efficiently.  However, changes in the space environment over the last decade challenge our operations.  Today, space is increasingly contested as our systems face threats of disruption and attack, increasingly competitive as more states, private firms, and others develop space-based capabilities, and increasingly congested with orbital debris.

                “Together with other departments and agencies, the Department of Defense will take a number of steps to support the new National Space Policy, and will work with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to develop a strategy document to address specific national security requirements for outer space.  We will look to leverage growing international and commercial expertise to enhance U.S. capabilities and reduce vulnerabilities.

                “Finally, we will pursue activities consistent with the inherent right of self-defense, deepen cooperation with allies and friends, and work with all nations toward the responsible and peaceful shared presence in space.”

                The White House statement, the fact sheet and the text of the National Space Policy are available online at http://www.defense.gov/spr under “Related U.S. Govt Publications.”