« AnteriorContinuar »
Dr. Frosch, it is clear that Dr. O'Neill at Princeton has assumed the leadership role in the development of the High Frontier concept. It is also true that the basic funding from NASA which supports that work, amounting to $100,000 a year, has been interrupted and may be reduced considerably, disrupting the smooth functioning of the Princeton operation. Similar reductions have occurred for mass driver development. Only private donations to the Space Studies Institute have enabled the continued employment of the small staff at Princeton. Do you consider these discontinuities and reductions, which have occurred since you have taken office, to be appropriate NASA policy?
Initial NASA funding of Dr. O'Neill's research was commenced on the basis of exploratory investigations of the feasibility of space habitat concepts and the use of extra terrestrial materials. His research has been supported for three years backed up by symposia and "summer studies" to deepen the understanding of concepts themselves, the needed technology and research and potential applications.
As a result of these studies, we have identified long term research needs with associated priorities and have brought a focus on work required in the future. We believe it important that we focus on the long-lead basic problem areas, and that we broaden the talent base applied to these problems. The Princeton grant will continue for FY 1978 as soon as we reach agreement with Dr. O'Neill as to the areas of study. In addition, our FY 1978 program includes an additional $70,000 for Princeton and MIT on mass driver technology, and a further $330,000 for related studies by the Lunar Science Institute and other competent institutions. The continued support of Dr. O'Neill's research after FY 1978 will be evaluated on the basis of overall resources available to NASA and the evaluation of the above described work.
We also propose to continue supporting concepts of space industrialization that emerge directly from presently funded systems. We will continue research in certain key areas such as closed-ecology habitats useful for space stations, lunar bases or settlements; research on advance propulsion systems including mass-driver techniques; and the use of extra-terrestrial materials.
Mr. TEAGUE. Our next witness will be Dr. Frank Press, who is from the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Frank, is this your first appearance before this committee?
Dr. PRESS. No; this is my second or third-before the full committee, that's correct.
Mr. TEAGUE. We are glad to have you here and you may proceed. Dr. PRESS. On my right is Philip Smith and on my left is Arthur Morrissey, who are both staff members of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Because of Dr. Frosch's problem with the Appropriations Committee, we have changed the order of the testimony. In our planning here, I had assumed I would go first so some of the things he has said, I have covered in my prepared statement. For that reason I will cut some sections of my testimony. But you have the entire version.
Mr. TEAGUE. Without objection, it will be placed in the record. [The prepared statement of Dr. Frank Press follows:]
STATEMENT OF FRANK PRESS
DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee. I am pleased to appear before the Committee on Science and Technology. We in the Administration welcome the Congressional review on the future directions in the American space program. As you know, the Administration is itself in the process of reviewing our overall space policy and evaluating the opportunities on which decisions must be made over the next several years.
These hearings are thus very timely. Furthermore, this year marks two decades of American space exploration. January 31st is the 20th anniversary of the Explorer Satellite and October 1 is the 20th anniversary of the National Aeronautics and Space Act. In fact, it was about that time that this Committee sprang into existence and began to play a key role in ensuring success of the American space program.
The American accomplishments in space have been remarkable expectations. Several of the most notable are:
the Apollo program with the successful moon landing by man
the significant advances made in remote sensing with the fu-
the successful and ongoing interplanetary probes to Mars,
finally, the free flight of the Shuttle spacecraft, a revolutionary turn in space exploration
24-215 O 78 16
Two decades ago, the United States was faced with a technological challenge in space. The American response was to create a focused National Space Program; to establish a new civil R&D organization for space activities; to choose to make the exploration and use of space a permanent extension of man's environment and to utilize space for the good of mankind in general.
The initial challenge has been met and the United States is the leader without peer in space science and technology. Now, however, the question no longer is, "Can the United States master space?" The question must be, "To what ends should the United States employ its space capabilities and resources?" Twenty years of vigorous and successful space exploration find us at a transition. The decisions we make today on the Shuttle, space applications, exploration of space and the solar system will set the framework for our next two decades in space, much as the National Space Act did back in 1958.
This Administration recognizes that it is a matter of national importance that the United States maintain its leadership position in the peaceful exploration and utilization of near-Earth and deep space. The achievements of the space program to date have made us keenly aware that nearEarth, our own solar system and the deep recesses of outer space are larger extensions of an environment that constitutes a vast arena into which human intelligence, technology and civilization will continue to search and advance. The Administration recognizes further the deeply held belief among the citizenry that science and technology are important to the future of the Nation and that space also is a part of that future.
Even though we are in transition from the expendable launch vehicle to the Shuttle and from first exploration to continued involvement into space, and though we wish to make full utilization of space technology already developed, I believe that our broad space policy goals should be framed so as to take into account a number of long-term objectives. Namely, our objectives should:
improve man's knowledge of Earth's larger environment,
improve man's ability to use space for all peaceful purposes
strengthen national security, the deterrence of attack,
establish space as an area for all mankind, beyond na-
improve the condition of human beings on earth through
There are some who would have us improve the prospects for economic
the U.S. economy. Where these objectives prove to be cost-effective,
they should certainly be pursued. And for and in the more distant future, we must, and should expect to, broaden human options by exploiting extraterrestrial alternatives concepts that are food for thought and deserve study.
As we work toward the development of a national policy which is sensitive to, and allows us to effectively link, our near- and long-term objectives, however, we must recognize that as the extent and complexity of space exploration rises, the costs associated with it will also increase. The foreseeable national economy and existing priorities
clearly dictate that we make choices concerning our activities in space.