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structures than those utilized heretofore.
These structures will be
too large to launch in prefabricated form, as was done with Skylab; they will need to be either assembled, deployed from prefabricated substructures, or actually manufactured in space, perhaps by servomechanisms in the early application stages, but eventually by people. And whereas there has been an impressive start made on the earliest conceptual formulation of such structural systems via a relatively miniscule NASA funding program, it now appear that the natural expansion of such promising early efforts is not to be implemented.
The applications for such large structures are not limited to the far future. Our next generation of communications satellites are expected to perform a number of new functions in public service activities, in direct broadcasting, in navigation, in military reconnaissance and communications, and in many tight-beam communications applications, as we have described in a recent AIAA publication, "Space A Resource for Earth." These activities require not only more on-board power, as I said earlier, but also much larger antennas some perhaps hundreds of meters in diameter. Burton Edelson, in a recent article in the AIAA magazine Astronautics & Aeronautics, suggested an exciting concept to serve a multitude of these communications functions: the orbital antenna "farm".
But we do not yet know whether our ideas on how to build, launch, control, maintain, and move these large antenna structures are feasible, practical, or cost-effective.
And the use of space-b
it is an area
tions systems is not a wild-eyed dream of the future
of space activities that has been shown historically to be productive, profitable, and beneficial to people in every walk of life and in
virtually every nation on Earth. It would appear that a modest but growing NASA technology effort in this area would be well worthwhile.
The need for an active program on large space structures becomes even more significant for other areas of space industrialization, such as those described by many of the witnesses at these hearings. the most interesting of these longer-term prospects, the one having the most significant potential impact on the Earth's peoples, is the space-based solar powerplant. The magnitude of this concept tends to induce a severe case of "future shock" in many of the new Administration's officials, but even if actual deployment of such stations is still decades away, the preparatory research and technology problems associated with so large and so potentially important an effort should have
already grown to a much larger portion of our federal energy budget than that which appears in the recently-approved Department of Energy "decision-making" study of the subject.
But even if the power satellite concept should not prove out, there is a serious need for substantial activity beyond Spacelab to develop the in-space fabrication capabilities upon which so much of the projected future space effort depends. Thus, independently of the conclusions of the DOE space power satellite studies, NASA should substantially expand its efforts in this area of activity.
Before closing, I want to be sure to make clear one basic premise which is threaded throughout all the points I have attempted to make in this paper: the importance of a routine, reliable, reusable transportation system to get from the Earth's surface into orbit, namely the shuttle.
Without such a system, there can be little or
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no growth in our space activities, and therefore certainly not much in the way of "Future Space Programs".
Please also note that although I have touched on only four concerns which AIAA members have expressed, there are many other areas of NASA activity, particularly in advancing technological capability,
in which too shortsighted a view can seriously prejudice the attainment of useful and viable space objectives.
BIOGRAPHY BRIEF FOR DR. JERRY GREY
Dr. Jerry Grey received his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and his Master's in Engineering Physics from Cornell University; his PhD in Aeronav ics and Mathematics from the California Institute of Tennology.
His early career included stints as a full-time Instructor of Thermodynamics at Cornell, an engine development engineer at Fairchild, a Senior Engineer at Marquardt, and a hypersonic aerodynamicist at the GALCIT 5-inch Hypersonic Wind Tunnel. He was a professor in Princeton University's Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences for 15 years, where he taught courses in fluid mechanics, propulsion, and nuclear powerplants and served as Director of the Nuclear Propulsion Research Laboratory. He formed the Greyrad Corporation in 1959 and was its full-time President from 1967 to 1971. He is now Administrator of Public Policy for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, where he spends half his time; the other half is devoted to consulting practice, writing, and lecturing. He is also Adjunct Professor of Environmental Science at Long Island University, where he teaches courses on energy, and President of the Calprobe Corporation, a supplier of high-temperature instrumentation based on Dr. Grey's patents.
Dr. Grey is the author of five books and over a hundred technical papers in the fields of solar energy, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, I ket and aircraft propulsion and power, plasma diagnostics, instrumentation, and the applications of technology. He has served as consultant to the U. S. Congress (as Chairman of the Office of Technology Assessment's Solar Advisory Panel), the Air Force, NASA, and ERDA, as well as over twenty industrial organizations and laboratories. He was Vice PresidentPublications of the AIAA for five years, and is listed in Who's Who in America, American Men of Science, Who's Who in Aviation, Engineers of Distinction, Contemporary Authors, and the United Kingdom's Blue Book and Dictionary of International Biography.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
JAN 31 1978
Mr. Olin E. Teague, Chairman
Committee on Science and Technology
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr. Teague:
This is in further response to your December 19, 1977, letter in which you asked for our views on future space programs.
The enclosed statement, is submitted for the consideration of
We appreciate the opportunity to present our thoughts on future space programs as they relate to the Foreign Agricultural Service. Mr. Howard W. Hjort, Director of Economics, Policy Analysis and Budget, has overall responsibility for Remote Sensing Policy coordination for the Department of Agriculture. If the Committee wishes additional information concerning the total Department of Agriculture remote sensing activities, plans or policy, Mr. Hjort should be contacted in the future.
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Thomas R. Hughes