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position ever since. Its net income after taxes in the third quarter of 1977 was $9,547,000. The success of Comsat and the communication satellites has encouraged other private space communications ventures by American Telephone and Telepgraph, Western Union, and others. There will be more
to come because the communications area of space industrialization already has something that domestic industry looks for: a track record.
But something than money has come from this. It is totally impossible to properly assess the long-range impact of instantaneous worldwide communications upon the political, economic, and cultural aspects of human life on this planet. Space industrialization has therefore been going on for almost thirteen years and it has already been profitable as well as impacting our everyday lives.
The Three Areas of Space Industrialization
But communications is only one of three areas of space industrialization. The se three areas and some of their future propspects may be briefly summarized as follows:
Communications: The continuing and increasing use of
improved communications satellites to provide more complete communication of information between people and between data
Manufacturing: The budding field of fabrication of new
and improved materials and biologicals that can be made only in the high vacuum and weightlessness of orbital space, or
that can be made better be cause of these unique orbital
Energy: The potential development and on-line operation within the next fifteen years of solar power satellites (SPS) converting the abundant and constant solar energy in space into a form for transmission to the ground in a non-polluting manner for distribution on existing electric power grids.
Communications was the space industrial area that matured
in the 1970's and is still growing.
Manufacturing will be the space industrial thrust of the
1980's, returning the first commercial space products to
earth during the coming de cade.
Energy will probably be the space industry winner of the 1990 de cade and beyond.
That brings us to the chimerical, charismatic Year 2000,
Ir we arrive in the Year 2000 with a space program that has
been based on both exploration and utilization that have brought these three areas to fruition, we can look forward to space settlement and a number of activities that seem "far-out, crazy, conceptual, and Buck Rogers" today. I do not intend to
address myself to the se "far-out" activities, even though I
am an avid supporter of a very large number of concepts that
would be considered as crazy today as a flight to the Moon was twenty-five years ago. I would 11ke to concentrate on the next
fifteen years because these years are the critical ones in space industrialization for both the government and the business communities of the United States...but for reasons quite different
from those rationales that justified the space program for
the past twenty years.
What do we need to get from where we are to where we can be ?
The why will become self-evident later in this discussion.
What do we have in hand to work with in terms of hardware,
technology, policies, and organizations?
In terms of hardware, the picture is encouraging if we utilize the hardware agressively in a program that will stimulate both space exploration for new knowledge and space industrialization for products, services, profits, and taxes. The NASA Space Shuttle will soon be operational. The true impact of the Space Shuttle hasn't dawned on most people yet. I keep learning something new every day, and I am not certain that I fully comprehend it even after writing books and reports about it. If we are to do what can be done in space exploration and space
Industrialization during the 1980's, we must have all five Space Shuttle orbiters. The argument for building only three orbiters exhibits the sort of short-sighted "button counting" that has historically hampered the United States and its
business community in the past. I shall not cause further
historic embarassment to the United States Senator who, during
de bates on the appropriations bill of 1907, stated, "Why does the Army need another airplane ? They have one." There were also
suggestions that an airplane be purchased for joint Army-Navy use and that they "take turns flying it."
We also have a number of proven, reliable, but expendable
launch vehicles such as Titan III, Delta, Atlas-Centaur, and
Scout. These are planned for phase-out in favor of the Space
There is Spacelab, a very important joint venture with
the European community of nations. It is important because it permits experiments in both space science and space industriali
zation. And we need the answers that Spa celab can provide .
An Interim Upper Stage is being built as a private venture and it is absolutely necessary to extend the Space Shuttle's capability. Without an upper stage carried aloft in the orbiter payload bay, the Space Shuttle cannot place payloads in the important geosynchronous (earth-stationary) orbit.
The teleoperator will be available, a primitive space
robot that hold the potential of doing many other things
than pushing the Skylab back into a higher and longer-lived
And there is a long list of satellites and free-flying
modules; Long Duration Exposure Facility, comsats, landsats,
metsats, space telescopes, planetary exploration spacecraft, and military things beyond the scope of this statement.
What of the technology available? It is already capable of much greater, more efficient, and less expensive space
operations in support of both exploration and utilization.
We need to get busy applying that technology now so that some important accessories such as a 25 kilowatt space power system
will be available when needed for space industrialization
experiments in the early part of the 1980 decade. It may
require five to ten years to develop some of the hardware based
upon this existing technology. There is an interesting paradox here : in the case of space industrialization, technology is not outpacing the social areas because the social areas are holding
These restrictions lie in both policies and organizations.
Current government policy seems to involve nothing more than maintaining a low profile space program and of "getting full utilization out of the Space Shuttle before undertaking other large programs." How 18 it possible to fully utilize