May 26, 1955: Memorandum of Discussion at the 250th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington:
At the conclusion of Mr. Anderson's briefing, the President inquired whether any members of the Council wished to hear in greater detail on this project from Dr. Quarles, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Development. At the invitation of the President, Dr. Quarles proceeded to describe the earth satellite in greater detail.
The Vice President inquired whether it would be possible eventually to develop an earth satellite which could stay up indefinitely. Dr. Quarles replied that it might be possible to do this at a later time.
Ambassador Lodge warned that the public relations aspects of establishing an earth satellite as proposed in NSC 5520 should be very carefully worked out. Otherwise the public relations effects could be harmful to the United States. Dr. Quarles replied that he thought that the auspices which it was proposed that the U.S. use in launching the earth satellite (the International Geophysical Year) would be effective in meeting the problem cited by Ambassador Lodge.
Secretary Humphrey inquired whether it would take expensive and complicated instruments to observe the movements of the earth satellite. Dr. Quarles replied that at certain times in its revolutions about the earth the satellite could be seen with ordinary field glasses. More powerful instruments would be required at other times.
After further discussion, the President inquired whether any members of the Council perceived any objection to an attempt by the U.S.' to launch such a satellite. There were no objections from members of the Council. Mr. Allen Dulles observed that it was very important to make this attempt, and Mr. Rockefeller suggested that the announcement of such an attempt might well be made in the United Nations.
The National Security Council:
a. Noted and discussed the draft statement of policy contained in the reference report (NSC 5520) in the light of the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff transmitted by the reference memorandum.
b. Adopted the statement of policy in NSC 5520.
Note: NSC 5520, as adopted, approved by the President (on May 27, 1955) and referred for implementation to the Secretary of Defense in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of Central Intelligence.
S. Everett Gleason
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