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In this drawing of the lunar base the solar-cell-powered mass-driver is in place.
About 1 more year of operation of the Shuttle and mass-driver after the emplacement of the first mass-driver on the lunar surface would be enough to put in space the chemical processing equipment that would be needed to process the first payloads coming off the moon [slide 7].
The first year of operation is calculated by our research group to bring out 30,000 tons of materials. That is in the first year alone, and is 15 times as much as the maximum payload capacity of the Shuttle at 60 flights per year.
One additional year of operation after that would be enough to lift the necessary equipment for processing those materials in space.
Studies show that comfortable quarters can be built within the Shuttle external tanks (slide 8].
These would be for the work force in space and on the lunar surface. The living conditions would be far better than those at the Alaska pipeline, but we wouldn't be trying to build luxury hotels.
In a traffic model of 60 Shuttle flights per year, it appears that within 7 years from first lift-off we could bootstrap our way to a productivity in space of more than 200,000 tons per year of finished products from about 3 times that quantity of raw materials [slide 91.
If those products were the components of solar power stations, to be sold to all those countries that need energy, their value would be over $20 billion per year in hard currency earnings. That should mean a lot to our country, the ad a deficit just this past November of over $3 billion in balance of payments.
Because of the Shuttle and our headstart in space technology, the United States is now in a better position than any other nation to seize this opportunity and profit by it, while still benefiting other nations. But no opportunity waits forever, and the chance we now have can be lost within a few years. The Russians did not seriously compete with Apollo, but quietly they've now gone far ahead of us in studying the maintenance of a work force in space for long periods of time. They've completed tests lasting over a year, in which groups of three people grew wheat and other grains in a closed environment, baked their own bread, and lived comfortably. In the Salyut space station, food plants have already been grown, and several of the lifesupport systems have already been operated successfully in closedcycle form. What we're still arguing about, they're already doing.
That is not our only competition. Japan has averaged a 10-percent annual economic growth rate for decades, and markets its products aggressively and successfully here in America. As a result, by 1990 Japan's standard of living is calculated to surpass our own. It may be no accident that of the many translations of my book, the High Frontier, the first to be completed and published is the Japanese edition.
We need not fear that these concepts are of no interest to the general public. Just during a few weeks there are, for example, an Associated Press article announcing the House concurrent resolution and Nova educational television 1-hour specials to be shown tonight and especially next week. Later in the spring there will also be three BBC television specials, and dozens of other articles and interviews.
We have accomplished a great deal so far on a tiny amount of funding. If the whole NASA budget is represented by a stack of books 2 feet high, our share correspondents to only a single sheet of paper. In the uncertain first months of the new administration, even that small share has been reduced; fortunately, private donations to the Space Studies Institute in Princeton have allowed us to push ahead vigorously even during gaps in Federal funding, but we need consistent support from the executive branch.
It is premature to talk of exact schedules and exact plans. During these next 3 years, we need most of all a strong effort on working models, benchtop pilot plants, and critical-path analysis. I recommend that Congress entrust that effort to the guidance of the Universities Space Research Association, a group of 55 universities with headquarters in Houston, Tex. In parallel, we need an unbiased, objective, independent analysis of what a high frontier program could do for this country, in jobs, economic growth, and the preservation of the environment. The Office of Technology Assessment has the expertise to carry out such an analysis.
With this intensive effort, by 1980 we should be in a position to decide whether to make an Apollo-scale investment to establish a productive base on the high frontier, or whether to remain forever simited by the resources of our planet. If that effort is as successful as the Apollo project was, by the late 1980's the first lift of equipment could begin, and productive payback could occur by the 1990's. At present we can only know for sure that if we close off the option, there is no alternative but the bleak, authoritarian future of the steadystate society
My associates and I strongly applaud the strong step toward this goal made by you, Mr. Chairman, and several other members here today through the introduction of House Resolution 451. Thank you
Mr. TEAGUE. Doctor, what communication has gone on between you and the people you represent to the administration? Is there a consensus or what feeling do you get!
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