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New Major Initiatives

A case can be made for allowing the STS to reach operational maturity before initiating from among the various candidates, another space program of similar magnitude. Other than a replacement for shuttle as a useful single stage-toorbit any major space program will require a mature STS for its accomplishment and until the specifics of that maturity have been demonstrated, it might be premature to initiate the next major space program at full funding. On the other hand, this nation faces an energy problem. Space provides an opportunity for contribution to the energy problem solution. Planning for a space power system (SPS) should be continued so that its competitive potential can be accurately assessed. The SPS is a logical program consideration. Because its initiation will require a mature STS, opportunity exists for allowing an evolutionary SPS program and at the same time provide for shuttle-on-orbit extended utility by means of such entities as the 25 kw power module. The ultimate role of an SPS must be as a coherent part of the nation's energy program. During this probable period between major program thrusts by NASA, attention should be given to the initiation of those science and applications programs not initiated due to lack of budget during the years when STS expenditures were a major segment of the NASA budget.





20 January 1978

Dear Mr. Teague:

I am pleased to submit the enclosed statement for the
consideration of the House Committee on Science and
Technology in connection with its January 24, 25 and 26th
hearings on the space program.

I am proposing a very modest beginning program to
search for extraterrestrial intelligence. NASA seems
very timid about undertaking even a small scale effort
in this area.

A little encouragement from this Com-
mittee might change the whole future of man.


Banney Oliver

B. M. Oliver

The Honorable Olin E. Teague, Chairman
Committee on Science and Technology
U.S. House of Representatives, Suite 2321
Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D. C., 20515



Bernard M. Oliver was born May 27, 1916, at Santa Cruz, California. He received the B.A. de-. gree in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1935, and the M. S. degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1936. Following a year of study in Germany under an exchange scholarship, he returned to the Institute where he received the Ph. D. degree, magna cum laude, in 1940.

From 1940 to 1952 he was employed at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in television research and radar development. He is now Vice President in charge of Research and Development at the HewlettPackard Company, and a member of its Board of Directors. He was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Radio Engineers in 1954 and served on its Board of Directors. In 1962 he was elected a Vice President for the newly formed Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and served as President of that organization in 1965. In 1966 he was appointed to the President's Commission on the Patent System. In April of the same year he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and in 1973, to the National Academy of Sciences. He is Chairman of the Engineering Advisory Council at Stanford University.

24 March 1977 23 January 1978


Members of the Committee on Science and Technology


Bernard M. Oliver

SUBJECT: ERRATA, paper entitled "SETI-A New Space Program

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B. M. Oliver

(Submitted to the Committee on Science and Technology for their January 24, 25 and 26, 1978 hearings on the U.S. Space Program.)

I am very pleased to be invited to share with you my views on possible new directions the U.S. space program might take. Rather than comment on the whole spectrum of possible space missions as I did before*, I would like, in the interest of brevity, to make only a few general observations and then to concentrate on a particular new thrust for NASA that I believe would greatly revive public interest in the space program, and that deserves substantial social support because of its profound philosophical importance and its societal significance. This is SETI, the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence.

General Observations

The major program within NASA for the last few years has been the space shuttle. Many of the missions which were originally cited as requiring or justifying the shuttle have been cancelled. As the development of the shuttle nears completion, we must be careful not to undertake large space programs merely to justify the shuttle rectroactively. A second extravagance does not justify the first. Colonies in space and orbiting solar power stations are daring concepts, but I agree with Dr. Frosch that unless we can find clear economic or social benefits that repay their cost, we should not construct them. On the other hand, a large space research lab is a much more modest undertaking and might have significant payoffs.

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NASA's Role in Man's Future (Submitted to the House Subcommittee on Space Science and Applications (1975), Don Fuqua, Chairman.

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