Bright Ideas
from the National Archives for NHD 1999

Resources at the
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

Nuclear Power in the 1980's

White House Office of Records Management Subject File categories AT (Atomic/Nuclear Energy) and DI001 (Disasters) at the Reagan Library contain correspondence and reports on the clean up of Three Mile Island, state and local opposition to the Shoreham and Seabrook nuclear power plants, and the Chernobyl disaster.

The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)

SDI, a space based missile defense system, was the Reagan administration's alternative to the Cold War policy of deterrence through Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). Materials available for research at the Reagan Library include oral histories with Edward Teller, and Science Adviser George Keyworth; speeches; and press briefings.

Future of Space: Commercialization, Technology Transfer, International Cooperation and the Space Station

Space Policy in the 1980's was dominated by the issues of commercialization of space, space cooperation, the space station, and the space shuttle. Materials available at the Reagan Library document the efforts by the Reagan White House to promote a strong U.S. commercial presence in space in encouraging the private sector to develop the infrastructure necessary for research and manufacturing in space and building a strong commercial expendable launch vehicle industry. The space station was the first Reagan program to embody commercialization of space and space cooperation as NASA negotiated agreements with the private sector as well as the Canadians, Europeans, and the Japanese.

Images of the following relevant documents are available in the Online Catalog (OPA):

National Security Decision Directive (NSDD)
NSDD #8: Space Transportation System
NSDD #42: National Space Policy
NSDD #50: Space Assistance and Cooperation Policy
NSDD #80: Shuttle Orbiter Production Capability
NSDD #94: Commercialization of Expendable Launch Vehicles
NSDD #144: National Space Policy
NSDD #164: National Security Launch Strategy
NSDD #181: Shuttle Pricing for Foreign and Domestic Users
NSDD #254: US Space Launch Strategy
NSDD #257: Guidance to the US Delegation with Western Europe, Japan, and Canada on the Space Station

A Nation Mourns: Public Response to the Challenger Disaster

From Columbia to the Challenger, the space shuttle program imbued the nation with pride and sorrow as evidenced in the letters from the public and President Reagan's speeches to the nation. These letters are available at the Reagan Library.

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