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General STAFFORD. I think it would be a worthwhile effort. In fact, I remember the chairman talked to me several times when I was at NASA about this problem he observed down there about the aging of the engineering talent. I know I have it out there in my area. Mr. TEAGUE. Dale, will you yield to me there?
Mr. MILFORD. Yes.
Mr. TEAGUE. I thought about this from a completely different direction. I thought about you when you are up in space you must be vitally concerned about those people on the ground who are working with you. For example, Apollo 13, I understand a very young man on the civil service ladder was responsible or at least made a big contribution to that flight getting back.
Dale, I understand that we will be asked by NASA this year if we want to try to give the administrators some leeway in the Civil Service field as to the very thing you are talking about.
We have spoken about the flight laboratories.
Mr. MILFORD. I just had a horrible thought, Mr. Chairman. Suppose they start trying to apply that to Congress? [Laughter.]
One final thing. General, are you familiar with the microwave landing research program both civil and military? Have you had any experience with this?
General STAFFORD. I just know of the general areas. We are not per se charged with the responsibility of testing a microwave landing system, flight testing. I know just about the rudimentary parts of the effort and I think I would be unqualified to comment on it.
Mr. MILFORD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. TEAGUE. We appreciate you coming here and working with us. Thank you very much.
General STAFFORD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. TEAGUE. Our next witness will be Mr. Bob Johnson, from McDonnell Douglas.
Bob, I didn't mention your name in the beginning because I wasn't thinking fast enough. We appreciate your coming here.
STATEMENT OF R. L. JOHNSON, PRESIDENT, MCDONNELL DOUGLAS ASTRONAUTICS CO.
Mr. JOHNSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
In aerospace one learns to be flexible. May I present you some options, considering the time, and I assure you it is only yours that I worry about since I have plenty of time. I could just enter my statement in the record which would take essentially no more time. I could summarize rather quickly utilizing the viewgraphs that were to be a part of the presentation. The major points I wanted to make would. take 8 minutes. If you wanted to hear a lessened version of the basic statement, that would take 16 minutes.
Mr. TEAGUE. Without objection, let's place your statement in the record and take the shorter version.
[The prepared statement of R. L. Johnson follows:]
STATEMENT BY ROBERT L. JOHNSON, PRESIDENT
MCDONNELL DOUGLAS ASTRONAUTICS COMPANY
Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of this committee, I appreciate this opportunity to appear before you and express some of the views of McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company concerning future space programs.
NASA's Skylab and Apollo programs have proved that man can function usefully in space. With the Space Transportation System soon to become operational, we will have the opportunity to undertake new and bold initiatives. It is vital that these initiatives address our increasing concerns with energy, the environment, resources, economics, and international cooperation; improve the quality of life on earth; and contribute toward social and economic progress.
At McDonnell Douglas, we have participated in the national space program since its inception. Our experience with Mercury, Gemini, Skylab, and launch vehicles, and our current efforts on Spacelab and Shuttle support give us realistic insight into the factors that affect selection of future space programs. Moreover, as citizens and taxpayers, we are concerned with the directions in which the frontiers of science and technology should be expanded. And finally, I submit that our basic nature as a profit-oriented enterprise focuses on additional considerations that can be of value to the government: profitability, return on investment, and commercial potential.
In my presentation today, I want to share with you some of our current viewpoints concerning U.S. R&D expenditures, resultant benefits, and the role of private business; an evaluation of the national space program from the industrial standpoint; some proposed criteria for selection of future space efforts; our view of future space-program planning; and some recommendations based on these considerations.
NASA and industry have worked well together in bringing about the U. S. space achievements of the past, and we at McDonnell Douglas plan to continue our involvement with NASA in the space programs of the future. It is clear, however, that planning for the next phase of space activity must consider the competing demands that will continue to be placed on this nation's financial resources. We therefore believe that an evolutionary approach that makes maximum use of assets already developed is highly desirable. We further believe that the capabilities and tools needed to take the first evolutionary steps are now available, and that the time is right to get these R&D steps under way.