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In particular I want to thank several members of this committee whom I have known for so many years and who have dedicated themselves to insuring that the United States maintains the foremost position in the world with respect to space science and technology.
And also as a satisfied customer of some of the projects you have helped foster, I am here as evidence that they were successful.
Mr. FUQUA. A living example.
General STAFFORD. As I pointed out, I have no prepared statement, but I would like to offer several of my views and go directly, sir, into the areas that you talked of.
I will base my views on my 13 years' experience on duty with NASA and my total 17 years in research and development both in space and aeronautics. With respect to the long-range goals in the broad general sense, the United States should have the total goals to maintain the world's lead in technology for space flights, in fact, all science and technology.
At times I know this may be difficult, but what concerns me is it's the same regardless of what type of program we have, it is the peaks and valleys you run into in program management.
Oftentimes I am sure that as we have experienced a start and a stop and a retrenchment, that it has been far more expensive than a total commitment and carry-through of the program.
The long-range goal should be that the United States would be the first in the world with respect to science and technology, and also once the commitments are made that they are carried through.
The subject of balance of payments is quite frequently discussed today. In very simplistic terms, there are two things our country has to offer for export, and that is agriculture and technology. Agriculture certainly cannot carry it alone. If we lose our lead in technology, we are going to be even further behind than we are today.
So it is so important that we have this goal to maintain the United States first, in science and technology.
It is also appropriate at this time in reviewing the past history of the way we progressed, it was in 1903 that the Wright Brothers' first flight occurred and finally 33 years later we had the first commercially feasible airliner, the Douglas DC-3. Approximately 33 years have elapsed in that time frame. From the first satellite until we have now an economically feasible transportation system into space, a space shuttle, it was approximately 20 years. So we have certainly improved over the past but we should continue for the future.
I am very proud that the Department of Defense with the Air Force as the executive agency has worked in close coordination with the Space Shuttle in its total development and will do so with respect to the operation and deployment of the Space Shuttle. We completed our first set of tests, under NASA's direction; with the Air Force and particularly my Center, in support of the tests on the Space Shuttle. In the future, in coordination between the Department of Defense and NASA in 1983, the Department of Defense with the Air Force will start to phase out this expendable medium launch vehicle, such as the Atlas Agena and Thor Delta to go over to the Shuttle. And finally by calendar year 1985 the heavy launch vehicles, such as the Titan series, will be phased out. After that it will be the total effort of the country to have our Space Shuttle as the launch vehicle.
With respect to the Soviet programs, we had a unique experience in working in the Apollo-Soyuz program. In fact, our Embassy told us that we had penetrated Soviet society deeper than any group had since World War II, and we had worked from all levels, from the top down, and we had many experiences. From that it was obvious that the Soviets have a very broad program. It is a continuing program. General Shatalov, who is in charge of cosmonaut training, told me back in 1974 that they were going to develop the resupply vehicle for the Space Shuttle, which recently occurred and they are going to continue to expand that effort and the manned space flight program will go ahead at an increasing level with no retrenchments.
With respect to the unmanned programs in research and development, academician Kelish expressed the same views, that the Soviet Union had a continuing policy to increase its technical base and develop a lot of their total resources toward doing this, and this is what I see today with respect to the developments in the Soviet Union.
Mr. FUQUA. Thank you very much, Tom.
The chairman will be back in just a few moments. I have several questions but I believe the chairman promised to let some of the others question.
Mr. WATKINS. This is a pleasure. The chairman forgot to mention one of the important things about General Stafford and that is that he is from Oklahoma.
Mr. FUQUA. I thought you wouldn't let that go by.
Mr. WATKINS. I wasn't going to let it go by.
I think probably one of the things on the minds of the American people today and I would like to hear your comments on it-is in your opinion how much emphasis is Russia placing on the satellite space program in military terms. With the crash of the one in Canada, with the reactor on it, I think folks in the country are a little anxious and nervous about what the situation is today. Could you elaborate on that briefly?
General STAFFORD. Thank you, Mr. Watkins. And thank you for mentioning my home State of Oklahoma. I don't have all of the data in front of me concerning the number of Soviet launches over the past year or the past 3 years versus the United States. But when you review it and this data is available-you will find that their number of launches into space and ballistic missiles far exceeds ours.
This brings out the point, again like academecian Keltish told me, that the Soviet program would be broad based and would require many resources and would be foregoing.
With respect to the details of satellites, I don't know all the details. But the number of satellites up today-there is no doubt that they have expended tremendous resources of all types, starting with communications for all types of civilian and military applications. It is a program that is going to continue to expand based on my knowledge in working with them over the past 3 years.
Mr. WATKINS. Do you think part of our problem is that we don't have the same consistency in our program today as we had in 1957 and 1958, that decade, and we have not had the commitment?
General STAFFORD. There is a difference, too, in the forms of government. There is a continuation over there with respect to the adminis
tration over long periods of time and a continuation with respect to heads of agencies for a period of time. Again, it is not debated-the issues and programs are not debated in that country the same way they are here.
So from that, it is obivous from what I observe in my direct contact with them, there is a continuation of a buildup of a great technical base and there is no debate or criticism about it.
Mr. WATKINS. Mr. Chairman, in the interest of time, though I would enjoy continuing to visit here with Tom, but I think it would be only right for others to have questions also.
Mr. TEAGUE. Mr. Goldwater?
Mr. GOLDWATER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General, nice to see you here, and I join with our chairman in complimenting you on your contribution to not only the space program but the national defense and just being a great example to people coming up through the system today.
There are a number of questions that come to my mind, knowing of your background. You mentioned something about peaks and valleys in our space program. And coming from southern California, I have witnessed over the past 10 years the peaks and valleys and how that affects not only the program itself but students thinking about going into aeronautical engineering or other types of sciences, how it affects the stability of employment, the stability of our manufacturing capabilities in the area of defense and aerospace as well as aeronautics.
It has always concerned me that we have allowed this to happen. We start a program and cancel it. We start a program and get it downstream and don't carry on. We don't seem to have a program to take up the slack. A very good one that's happening right now, of course, is the B-1 bomber. Not to argue the merits or demerits, the fact is that we canceled the B-1 bomber and there is a great national resource that is going begging. This tends to discourage young students or kids coming up who would have gone into this area.
I am interested in your views on this and what we might try to do or could do to flatten this out so that we have an ongoing, consistent program that takes advantage of the potential of this country.
General STAFFORD. Mr. Goldwater, I certainly share your concerns and in my statement I mentioned the fact that for the total development of a program we need continuity and not peaks and valleys. Once a program has been laid out, naturally there are priorities to be determined. This is a difficult task and it is not really the issue of any one branch of government. There has to be total teamwork together in this.
As an example I will refer back to my Soviet colleagues. We had a luncheon down with the workers of the first stage of the small Saturn booster at New Orleans and we told them that these people were going to be laid off and terminated after my launch, which would be the last small Saturn booster and the Soviets just couldn't understand that, why, here these good workers are being laid off. They said, why don't you kep flying the boosters? Well, that a problem we have with respect to programs and budgets. It is certainly one for both the agencies the Congress, and the executive branch to try to have continuity. Mr. GOLDWATER. Do we need some kind of vehicle or organization composed of civilians and Congress, the executive branch, to review
total programs, defense, civilian, NASA, and others, to make these kinds of projections?
General STAFFORD. That could be a possibility, sir. To me it would be a very difficult area to achieve. It might be very worthwhile, but I just could not comment on it at this time.
Mr. GOLDWATER. Just one other area. Out at the Edwards test facility, you have been conducting flight evaluations of the AMST transport. Now, it's my understanding that the President has excluded that from the budget, and here we have two aircraft-do we have more than two?
General STAFFORD. Two of each prototype.
Mr. GOLDWATER. So we have a total of four. Do you see it as a possibility to continue the flight test of these aircraft or turn this over to NAŠA to continue in the area of STOL research or other types of flight characteristics; do you see that as a viable possibility if in fact Congress and the executive branch decides to do that?
General STAFFORD. There has been a history that oftentimes in prototypes when the military finishes with it, that the vehicle is turned over to NASA, I think like the A-9 and the F-8U, and also the F-15's that we are looking at. We have a history of working together with NASA during a flight test program, and after that NASA has frequently taken over the vehicles, so this would not be a new precedent if that were decided.
Mr. GOLDWATER. Do you think it would be a very natural sort of thing to happen, if the Congress decides not to fund that?
General STAFFORD. I don't want to be in a position, sir, of saying what the administration should do specifically.
Mr. GOLDWATER. I'm asking for your own opinion.
General STAFFORD. In my own opinion it would fall in the category that we have done before in a joint effort with NASA and which we are doing now with the F-15. We have turned it over to NASA to continue the flight test, when we were finished with those aircraft to look at various aspects.
One thing I am very proud of is that my center is responsible for those flight tests. I have flown both of the aircraft. They are fine aircraft. And we did it all on schedule and on cost.
Mr. GOLDWATER. Could you make a comment as to the cooperation between NASA and Department of Defense? In your opinion, do you think there is adequate cooperation or could you make some suggestions as to how this could be improved, like better communications in the initial decisionmaking process, when they begin thinking about new vehicles? Are you satisfied, or do you think there can be some improvement?
General STAFFORD. I have had a unique experience that I worked and wore civilian clothes for practically 13 years with NASA, so I think I have firsthand, detailed knowledge. To me, today the cooperation could not be better between Department of Defense, Air Force, and NASA, Of course, Department of Defense oftentimes takes NASA's technology to bring out new systems, but with respect to space and I have been very deeply involved with this-the cooperation and efforts between NASA and the Air Force have been just fantastic and to me I can see today no duplication or overstepping of boundaries. On the Space Shuttle NASA had the primary responsibil
ity for developing the orbital launch system, but the Air Force had the responsibility for the inertial upper stage. That portion has gone well and they fit real well together. To me, I just cannot agree with the critics that NASA and the Air Force are not getting along well, since I have been in it deeply for 13 years.
Mr. GOLDWATER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. TEAGUE. Mr. Lloyd.
Mr. LLOYD. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, Tom, for joining us once again. It is always a pleasure to welcome friends and certainly such distinguished people in the area of space and its applications, particularly regarding the future.
I guess we might state that the animals have been a little restless around here today. I congratulate you for sticking it out and sitting there. I know there must have been a moment when you thought maybe the best response would be to leap up and get out of here quickly. Of course, we are concerned and that concern has been expressed by many of the members as to-I use the term "visionary aspects of the future of space." I am not talking about a fictitious situation. I am talking about people such as yourself who can actually see the applications of the system in space. I saw the results of Mariner and all of a sudden that goes down the hill and JPL is laying off people. We were talking about a nuclear engine in space, which was NERVA, and I recall that finally folded 2 or 3 years ago, and yet I continue to believe that there are some needs for this type of thing. I recognized also as my colleague Mr. Scheuer alluded to, that we have to do some sort of a selling job. I am deeply sorry that the two gentlemen prior to you have already gone, because I did not get a chance to question them, and I am asking in your case, for some opinion-although I recognize that you do not speak directly for the administration. But getting back to the future of space, in its application of, say, the farther reaches, do you see the potential of us maintaining our leadership? I'm being a bit parochial, I am sure, on that question. But do you see the potential and do we really have the capability and are the public attitudes, the attitudes of those responsible, such that it will provide a medium, a culture so that this positive attitude can continue to grow, the positive attitude which began just a few short years ago with the Kennedy administration?
General STAFFORD. I would like to make two responses to your question. As far as the growth, I would like to review history from the vantage point of the Gemini program and Apollo and now the Shuttle and where it will go. In Gemini from the time we flew the last, ones as compared to the first, what we did on the last flights wasn't even envisioned when we started the program. The same with Apollo and what we finally did in the latter stages of Apollo, we could not really envision, like the Rover on the lunar surface, and how long we stayed there and the precise accuracies. To me the same thing will happen with the Shuttle. Now that we have this vehicle which has taken a lot of effort, the operation of this will far exceed our expectations, very much exceed our expectations for all aspects.
Now, with respect to the public acceptance and viewpoint, I had a very moving experience last November with people from your district, Mr. Goldwater's district, and Mr. Dornan's district, where we had an open house at the Flight Test Center. We advertised that the