Imágenes de páginas


The future of the United States space program appears to

consist of three separate but allied and sequential activities :

(a) scientific exploration, (b) commercial utilization, and (c) human habitation of space.

The first activity, scientific exploration, has been

under way since the end of World War II when the first large

ballistic rocket vehicles became available for launching

scientific payloads beyond the atmosphere. It has progressed and grown enormously since that time. It has contributed in

uncountable ways to our life style, to our culture, to our world view, and to our storehouse of knowledge about ourselves

and our universe. It should and must continue in the future

because the information it produces stocks the cupboards of

knowledge so that information is available for the second activity: commercial utilization,

Commercial utilization or space industrialization is the

second activity. It may be defined as the commercial, profit

making use of the unique advantages of earth-orbital space for providing services and products for customers on earth. In due course of time, this definition will have to be broadened.

Space industrialization amounts to the Third Industrial


Human habitation, space settlement, and space colonization

is the third activity. It cannot be expected to take place on

a large scale until space industrialization is established to the level that would justify the presence of large numbers

of human beings to conduct and support the off-planet

activities of space industrialization. Although we will

probably see human beings living in space for extended

periods of time beginning in the 1980 decade, such limited

habitation could not be considered as full-blown human

habitation of space...but it will be a precursor in the

evolution of the human presence in the Solar System.

Having laid a foundation based upon



definitions, let us look at what these three activities

are not.

Space exploration is not the entire space program now or in the future. Scientific exploration and experimentation

are not the reasons for having a space program or for doing

things in space to the exclusion of everything else. A Congress

responsive to the electorate will not be able to justify a

large space program based solely upon the pursuit of scientific

knowledge. I am personally in favor of doing all the space

science that we can afford, including some that may stretch our resources because of unique opportunities such as infrequent come tary passages. I would like to see more space exploration.

I venture to suggest that a great deal more space science can

be done while riding the coattails of the commercial utilization

of space. Historically, a great deal more science 18 done today

through industrial grants, contract research, and industrial research laboratories than was done before scientists made their historic and tacit arrangement with industrialists a

century ago.

Space industrialization is not many things, too. It is not a program or a specific activity. It is not new and it

1s not some thing that is fifteen to twenty-five years away in

the future. It is not a space station or large space structures.

And it is not space colonization. It is government and industry working together for profit, for tax revenues, and for pragmatic benefit in utilizing this whole new ecological niche that we

have discovered and will quickly occupy: space.

Space colonization is not the next step in space. It is

not the justification for space industrialization. It may not

even take place in this century, but it will take place. It will not cost us billions of dollars in a lump sum or even in

a series of payments stretched out over twenty years. It will be the logical, evolutionary growth of space industrialization, some thing that cannot take place until space industrialization

18 an economic success... . Just as space industrialization could

not occur until space exploration was a scientific and technical success. Space colonization is an attractive long-term goal. But, in the meantime, there 18 something else that we must do

in space.

In the next ten to fifteen years, therefore, the space

program must consist of two elements: (1) space exploration,
and (2) space industrialization. We cannot ignore space
exploration, and we must give greater emphasis to space
industrialization. There are things that can be done now
to encourage space industrialization and to make America and
her industry pre-eminent in this new field of human activity.
And there are things that can be done and should be done in
the next few years to encourage and stimulate this.

Space Industrialization Isn't New

I need not review in detail our accomplishments in space. In general, we have to date explored near-earth space; mapped, surveyed, and sampled the Moon; sent unmanned exploration vehicles to four planets; and landed twelve men on the Moon. But it is near-earth space that is of greatest interest right now because we have spent the last twenty years learning about it. This knowledge has changed near-earth space from a hostile, alien environment to one that is useful.

We can use space. We know this because we have used space in the past. This means that we will continue to do so in the future.

Space industrialization is not new. It began on a specific date: April 6, 1965. On that date, Early Bird was launched. It was the world's first commercial communications satellite built and operated by the Communications Satellite Corporation (Comsat).

Comsat opened the era of space industrialization with

this commercial venture. It was a private enterprise operation

backed by numerous government supports and incentives. It was

not the first such high-risk venture into a new frontier that

was supported by and encouraged by a government, and our

federal government in particular.

In almost every area where a physical or scientific

frontier has become known, available, and ripe for use,

where the risks to private investors have been exceptionally

high, where the return on investment times have been very long, and where very large amounts of capital have been required,

there has emerged a government-business relationship. This

relationship has taken many forms in the past. Examples in

the history of the United States include the National Road

of the late 18th Century, the canal system of the early 19th

Century, the railroads of the mid-19th Century, the water and

land reclamation projects in the American West in the early 20th Century, and the telephone and telegraph networks, radio, television, and commercial airlines.

Comsat was a new approach to a new business challenge, a

Joint government-industry corporation of unique characteristics.

It has been successful. It returned its first dividend to

stockholders in the fourth quarter of 1970, six years after

the initial stock offering. Federal income tax amounting to

$5,347,000 was

payable for 1970. Comsat has been in a profitable

« AnteriorContinuar »