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(Policy Perspectives cont.)
EXAMPLES OF GLOBAL SPACE SATELLITE POLICY INDECISIONS
1. Trained geologists using LANDSAT imagery available to the public are able to analyze lineaments and geologic fault to assist in locating new underground gas and oil and water and mineral resources within the borders of all nations. Should the multinational corporations which can afford the trained geologists and expensive equipment have privileged access to the knowledge of all other nations' undiscovered or should the Congress and the President provide leadership toward unprecedented inter-nation or all-nation management systems to allow all nations a proper access to this economic intelligence?
2. With millions of human beings on the planet facing slow death through starvation or malnutrition, the satellites can provide the information foundation for world-wide inventories or all crops and fibres .computerized predictions of the world's crops.. .the health or disease of the crops.. and advance crops estimates. Should Kremlin strategists have privileged access to this crop intelligence? Should American agribusiness interests have privileged use of this intelligence? Should there be some kind of GLOBAL INFORMATION SERVICES in which all nations receive benefit? 3. The U.S. military and civilian satellites have the capability to provide maps of all nations, in intimate detail ( in three-dimension projections). The Pentagon through the Defense Mapping Agency for some years has been helping Central and South American nations in this way. The U.S. Geologic Survey is the world leader in civilian satellite mapping techniques. Should the accumulating maps of the world be Soviet classified military documents? American classified military documents? or should there be an unprecedented future all-nation mapping service meeting the needs of all nations?
4. In a year-long successful experiment with the ATS-6 communications satellite, a professor of anatomy at the University of Washington taught a class fifteen hundred miles away in Alaska... both professor and students seeing and speaking with each other through two-way television relayed via satellite. With strong U.S. leadership on a world scale for the next twenty years, high quality education could make inroads to all of the illiterate and uneducated and remote billion human beings. Over a year ago the Office of Management and Budget forced NASA to give up this creative work, so U.S. corporations could find profit selling their creativity in this field to foreign nations . and now Canada, and Germany and Japan have surpassed the United States in this dramatic leading edge into a worthwile future for humankind. Congress did not object.
5. In another successful one-year experiment in Alaska damaged babies and injured or sick adults in villages 500 miles from a doctor, were examined and treated regularly by a distant doctor through two-way television relayed via broadcast satellites. Combined with a generation of outreaching medical and public health education, these "doctor in the sky" satellites could be a leading instrument in a new U.S. world strategy to assist the world in providing food for the hungry, cloth for the naked, medicine for the sick, shelter for the shivering and security for the nations. The Office of Management and Budget forced NASA to stop this creative work for reasons similar to the above. Congress appeared to be too busy to care.
May I conclude with two points:- (1) we have mentioned only a small fraction of the satellite capabilities already developed and (2) within NASA and each of the other Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government there are very large backlogs of valid, feasible, pro-human concepts and services waiting to be put into the creative stream of research and developent and demonstration to assist all nations in their struggles for security and independence and development. What kind of future world order are we trying to create? Can Congress answer that question? The whole world might like to know.
ONE EXAMPLE OF AN EXECUTIVE DECISION WHICH CAN BE MADE BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE
Reprinted from December 1973 SPECTRUM, Journal of the 160,000 member Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers - IEEE - to stimulate creative professional, public and political discussion. This is an expansion of President Eisenhower's "Open Skies" policy magnified a thousand times by today's global satellite technology.
Proposal for a global information cooperative
The American people through their government could announce to the world a large scale, longrange, sustained commitment to build a giant opento-the-public Global Information Cooperative... linked to a greatly expanded ten year series of earth-orbiting, intelligence-gathering satellites and other global information-gathering sources. The objective of this Global Information Cooperative would be:
1. To maintain a public inventory of potential public danger for the planet, whether from threat of war, or pollution, or draught, or hurricane, or blight, or shipwreck, or any other threat to the general wellbeing of human beings everywhere, and
II. To provide earth resources development information assisting the economic progress and human wellbeing for people of all nations. All nations will be invited to cooperate as part of an eventual broader War Prevention Decade of new research and development and testing.
All nations would be invited to cooperate by assigning experts and research teams to work together In a large Global Information Research Park surrounding the Cooperative. This would include military experts, intelligence experts, agricultural experts. geologic survey experts, and specialists in all relevent fields. There would be no classified information, no secrets. Anything that can be seen or detected or discovered through outerspace instrumentation would be available to the people and the nations of the world.
Information would be made public on large illuminated information display walls, and would be stored in computers for reference. Communications links would be maintained with the world radio, television, and printed news and public information media. This mobilization of information research and develop
ment for the future safety and wellbeing of the people of all nations would proceed with American initiative, no matter what nations withhold cooperation at first. Nations would be free to join the cooperative at any future time.
There would be no need to first "negotiate" with potential enemies before the American people lead the people of all nations gradually toward a new age of openness. Potential enemies on both sides of all confrontations would be invited to see inside their own country what American reconnaissance satellites already see.
All nations capable of launching surveillance satellites would be invited to link them to the Global information Cooperative. All nations would be invited to build similar open-to-the-public information conters, linked to central information receivers, and storage facilities, and retrieval facilities. All nations would be free to install receiving facilities to be linked directly to the eyes-in-the-sky.
Howard and Harriet Kurtz
Howard G. Kurtz spent twenty-two years (19321954) in airline management positions and twelve years (1954-1966) in the management consulting firm of Handy Associates, Inc. Since 1968 he has devoted his full-time to War Control Planners, Inc., of which he is president.
Harriet B. Kurtz graduated from Wellesley College in 1937, and Union Theological Seminary in 1962. She was ordained to the ministry of the United Church of Christ in 1984, with a mission in the field of war and crisis as her particular charge.
Thank you for the opportunity of submitting a viewpoint
Since the attached is fairly brief, I believe that a one page abstract would not be too useful. I am prepared to expand on any of those items contained therein, should you desire.
Current Space Posture
At this time there are three principal facets to the U. S. space program. It is likely in the relatively rapidly evolving space activities of the future, that this delineation will be altered; nevertheless, using our current perspective of these three facets provides a framework for discussion. The first facet covers the purely military and national security oriented systems, the second those programs for the advancement of space science, the third those programs which apply the uniqueness of space to national civilian needs. A special case in the third facet is the commercial application of communications satellites, special because of the existing operating organization and its quasi governmental nature. At any given time these three facets differ in size, budget, and accomplishment but in reality the technologies and many of the developmental elements of the three have much in common. It is, therefore, difficult to uniquely consider any one of these three facets in a stand-alone basis as a part of a comprehensive look at the future of the U. S. space program. In all of this the Space Transportation System is unique, in that it will eventually replace the expendible boosters of the programs of all three facets of our space program and, in time, should make possible certain new initiatives which are either technically infeasible or exceptionally expensive with today's means of getting useful hardware in space. The shuttle has to be considered on the basis of the whole U. S. space program since as a major investment, it only makes sense if all elements, defense, NASA and civilian applications, are served.
In a like vein, the technological advances the Space Transportation System will permit should not be precluded from benefiting any one of the three facets of the U. S. space program. Any consideration of future major space initiative in terms of their worth as national investments should carefully and candidly examine the issue of technology transfer and its value to all elements of the space program. Consider this issue in retrospect. Goals and use of communications satellites differ significantly in important aspects between military and commercial use. There has been useful and important transfer between the two. This has largely been accomplished by the industrial suppliers of such systems. With a highly competitive market place, new technology could well depend upon those few suppliers of new military comsats. It could be anticipated that they will perforce, be preoccupied technologically with military needs; e.g., electronic countermeasures and survivability. The civilian technology will either have to be supported by a NASA re-entry into communication satellite technology or have the COMSAT Corporation which, although operating under a government charter, has an international master, the Intelsat Consortium.
Pending Policy Issues
The COMSAT Corporation represents an example of good government policy. Enabled by an act of Congress, it has been a successful commercial venture. Policy needs to be promulgated to guide other civilian applications. Questions such as who operates the programs and how is the data disseminated remain as unanswered now as they were when the promise of space application programs were first perceived several years ago. We are just starting to scratch the surface of resource evaluation and exploitation. In our society this is an area for private enterprise. Aggressive development beyond the technology sponsored by NASA in such important programs as LANDSAT and SEASAT must come from either publically-owned charters such as COMSAT Corporation was or by incentive means to encourage private investment. The absence of policy has led to some potential for role crossing. As an example, in the COMSAT 1976 Annual Report, mention is made of the fact that COMSAT General subsidiary was participating with the U. S. Geological Survey and Telesat Canada in a program to evaluate the use of satellites for the collection of water resources data from remote geographical areas. The conduct of such a study is very appropriate. From a policy point of view, is such a study appropriate to COMSAT's charter as established by the Communication Satellite Act of 1962, is it more appropriate to NASA, should it be done by the Interior Department as a major "user," or should it be performed by industry? Until we, as a nation, regularly look at the growing opportunities in space applications from the totality of their interactions; i.e., a system approach instead of considering the space segment as an end unto itself, we will be less than cost effective. The picture isn't totally dismal as more recent programs such as SEASAT have been planned on the appropriate broader base. While there are some aspects of SEASAT operational planning that are to be determined, the elements that require future resolution are recognized.
The Future with a Space Transportation System
The Space Transportation System was a programmatic entity whose time had come when it was approved. The push it received from both the technological imperative and the organizational imperative were considerable. As a very major undertaking, care must be given to assure that it is cost effectively exploited. Oversight needs to be undertaken to insure that this national capability is optimally used for all our programs, that the cost benefits be demonstrably realized, that the potential of the STS for broader space programs of national benefit be recognized and supported, and that our international obligations be discharged. All of this must be properly balanced, prioritized and scheduled since there never will be too many orbiters once the utility and availability is established in practice. Further, the risk of orbiter loss, as with any high performance airframe, cannot be treated as non-zero, at least for planning purposes.