full screen background image
+ NASA Home
+ Contact NASA

Military Space

Updated: August 2012

NASA was founded with the express intent of peacefully exploring space. However, for most of history, rockets were chiefly used by armies and navies. American military and naval personnel are posted temporarily to NASA centers if the agency can use their skills. Some NASA centers are next door to American military and naval bases so that the government can save money by using one set of labs and other facilities when our civilian and military programs have common needs.

American military space programs concentrate on navigation, communication, and remote sensing, although there are anti-missile and anti-satellite programs. Some programs, like the Global Positioning System, are military projects that have civilian applications. Others, like the United States Naval Observatory, are devoted to scientific research. You may also find items of interest in our webpages on Legislative Research and Space Law, International Cooperation in Space, or Interagency Collaboration. If you are a NASA employee, please consider subscribing to our news alerts on government reports and think tanks.

The following is a select bibliography of pertinent materials accessible to the patrons of the NASA HQ Library. All items are available at the Headquarters Library, except as noted. NASA Headquarters employees and contractors: Call x0168 or email Library@hq.nasa.gov for information on borrowing or in-library use of any of these items. Members of the public: Contact your local library for the availability of these items. NASA Headquarters employees can request additional materials or research on this topic. The Library welcomes your comments or suggestions about this webpage.

Contents: Policies Books E-books Journals Internet Resources

NASA Policies

The following policies and procedural requirements can be accessed by anyone through the NASA Online Directives Information System:
NASA Policy Directive 3280.3J: Detail of Military Personnel to NASA
NASA Policy Directive 3280.8G: Recommendations for Military Awards and Decoration to Military Personnel Assigned to NASA


Abbey, George W. S., and Neal Lane. United States Space Policy: Challenges and Opportunities. Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2005. ISBN: 0877240493
TL789.8 .U5 A23 U5 2005 BOOKSTACKS
__________. United States Space Policy: Challenges and Opportunities Gone Astray. Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2009. ISBN: 0877240817
TL789.8 .U5 A234 U5 2009 BOOKSTACKS
Air University (U.S.). Air Command and Staff College. AU-18 Space Primer. Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: Air University Press, 2009. ISBN: 9781585661947
UG1520 .S67 A378 2009 BOOKSTACKS
Berkowitz, Bruce. The National Reconnaissance Office at 50 Years: A Brief History. Chantilly, VA: Center for the Study of National Reconnaissance, National Reconnaissance Office, 2011. ISBN: 9781937219000
UG1523 .N376 B475 2011 BOOKSTACKS
Gallagher, Nancy W., and John D. Steinbruner. Reconsidering the Rules for Space Security. Cambridge, MA: Committee on International Security Studies, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2008. ISBN: 0877240701
TL788.4 .G35 2008 BOOKSTACKS
Lutes, Charles D., et al. Toward a Theory of Spacepower: Selected Essays. Washington, DC: Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, 2011.
UG1520 .T69 2011 BOOKSTACKS
Moltz, James Clay. The Politics of Space Security: Strategic Restraint and the Pursuit of National Interests. Stanford, CA: Stanford Security Studies, 2008. ISBN: 9780804759144
TL788.4 .M65 2008 BOOKSTACKS
National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on the National Aerospace Initiative. Evaluation of the National Aerospace Initiative. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2004. ISBN: 0309091756
TL521 .E98 2004 BOOKSTACKS
Also available to the public through the National Academies Press.
Paikowsky, Deganit. Space Technology, Patterns of Warfare and Force Build-up: Between a Power and a Small State. Technion City, Haifa, Israel: Samuel Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology, 2007.
UG1525 .I8 P35 2007 BOOKSTACKS
Pasco, Xavier. A European Approach to Space Security. Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2009. ISBN: 0877240809
JZ5695 .P373 E96 2009 BOOKSTACKS
Podvig, Pavel Leonardovich, and Hui Zhang. Russian and Chinese Responses to U.S. Military Plans in Space. Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2008. ISBN: 087724068X
UG1520 .P63 2008 BOOKSTACKS
Preston, Bob, et al. Space Weapons: Earth Wars. Santa Monica, CA: Rand, 2002. ISBN: 0833029371
UG1530 .S72 2002 BOOKSTACKS
Temple, L. Parker. Shades of Gray: National Security and the Evolution of Space Reconnaissance. Reston, VA: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2005. ISBN: 1563477238
UG1523 .T46 2004 BOOKSTACKS
United States. Office of the Director of National Intelligence. National Security Space Strategy: Unclassified Summary. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Defense, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, 2011.
UA23 .N385 N387 2011 BOOKSTACKS
Wright, David, Laura Grego, and Lisbeth Gronlund. The Physics of Space Security: A Reference Manual. Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2005. ISBN: 0877240477
TL796 .W75 2005 BOOKSTACKS


The e-book listed here is available to NASA civil servants and contractors through the Books 24×7 service of SATERN.
Petersen, J.K. Understanding Surveillance Technologies: Spy Devices, Privacy, History, and Applications. Auerbach Publications, 2007. ISBN: 9780849383199
The e-books listed below are available to the general public through the National Academies Press.
Committee on Air Force and Department of Defense Aerospace Propulsion Needs, National Research Council. A Review of United States Air Force and Department of Defense Aerospace Propulsion Needs. 2006. ISBN: 9780309102476
Committee on the Navy's Needs in Space for Providing Future Capabilites, National Research Council. The Navy's Needs in Space for Providing Future Capabilities. 2005. ISBN: 9780309096775
Committee on Materials Needs and R&D Strategy for Future Military Aerospace Propulsion Systems; National Research Council. Materials Needs and Research and Development Strategy for Future Military Aerospace Propulsion Systems. 2011. ISBN: 9780309212113


Please feel free to visit us from 7:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, if you are a NASA HQ civil servant, detailee, or contractor, you can read these journals online.
Aerospace America
Aerospace Daily and Defense Report
Air and Space Power Journal
This journal is accessible to the general public through the website of the US Air Force.
Army Space Journal
This journal is accessible to the general public through the website of the US Army.
Aviation Week and Space Technology
Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly
Space News
Space Policy
This journal is accessible to the general public through the website of the US Navy.

Internet Resources

Brunner, Christopher. NASA Office of International and Interagency Relations. Nov. 29, 2011 . [August 14, 2012]
This office is NASA's liason with the Department of Defense.
Joint Armed Services and Intelligence Services
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. August 8, 2012. [August 14, 2012]
Global Positioning System. August 13, 2012. [August 14, 2012]
Missile Defense Agency. June 27, 2012. [August 14, 2012]
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. June 22, 2012. [August 14, 2012]
National Reconnaissance Office. July 30, 2012. [August 14, 2012]
North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). July 16, 2012. [August 14, 2012]
U.S. Strategic Command. August 7, 2012. [August 14, 2012]
Air Force
Air Force Research Laboratory. July 24, 2012. [August 14, 2012]
Air Force Space Command. August 8, 2012. [August 14, 2012]
Department of Defense Executive Agent for Space Staff. 2012 [August 14, 2012]
Redstone Technical Test Center. Sept. 9, 2011. [August 14, 2012]
Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site. August 2011. [August 14, 2012]
U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/U.S. Army Forces Strategic Command. August 14, 2012. [August 14, 2012]
White Sands Missile Range. June 11, 2012. [August 14, 2012]
Naval Research Laboratory. August 8, 2012 [August 14, 2012]
Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. June 15, 2011 [August 14, 2012]
US Naval Observatory. July 23, 2012. [August 14, 2012]

Last Updated: August 2012