1980 Societal Assessment of SPS

system. The ensuing internal organizational friction within the Corporation and the disputes which arose between the Corporation and the State Department during negotiations with foreign nations (i.e., whether to interpret a problem as one of "foreign" or "business" policy) lead to the conclusion that for the SPS, governmental, rather than private, ownership and/or control is to be desired. As an initially national endeavor, SPS development might be closely tied to the resolution of regulatory problems affecting the internal operating structure of the organization. For instance, federal regulatory agencies might intercede to reduce the effectiveness and accountability of a U.S. "Solar Sat Corporation" with rulings which would enhance the control of private sector participants within the organization. In the case of COMSAT, FCC rulings enhanced private-sector control of corporate operations. This experience indicates the importance of establishing the identity of an SPS organization vis-a-vis the federal government at an early stage in its development. This would also indicate U.S. interest in government-to-government negotiations to encourage international participation. A real commitment to broad foreign participation in SPS development should be expressed concretely in the structure and operating practices of the organization. The voting structure within INTELSAT, INMARSAT and the IEA provides many mechanisms for participation. Relations between the U.S. and other potential foreign participants could be improved by creating an equitable arrangement for the sharing of SPS technology and manufacturing respon- sibilites. Voting arrangements, particularly within INMARSAT, provide examples of how the Third World could participate in decision making and the sharing of benefits. A possible first step toward involvement of other nations might be the establishment of a research and development effort under IEA auspices. • • 225 31 3. Military Implications and Vulnerability The location of SPS Reference System elements in both low earth orbit (LEO) and geostationary orbit (GEO) and its power output give rise to three questions: (1) What are the real and perceived military threats of the SPS? (2) Are there unique system vulnerabilities that could inhibit SPS development? and (3) What safeguards can be devised to counter SPS threats and vulnerabilities?