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Testimony for the January 1978 Committee on

Science and Technology

Hearing on Future Space Programs from

Dr. Bruce Friedman, Chairman of the

B'nai B'rith Energy Committee of Maryland

It is with a feeling of sincere thankfulness to the members of the House Committee on Science and Technology that this testimony is being submitted

for the records of the January 1978 Hearing on Future Space Programs.

In recent years it has been quite fashionable to decry space activities

as being irrelevant to the needs of the nation. However, B'nai B'rith, the major Jewish service organization, has decided, after serious consideration,

that there are few if any activities which can provide as many benefits to the American Jew, to the people of the United States of America, and to every human being on this globe, as can be provided by an ever-increasing

tempo of space activities aimed at the utilization of space resources for

the improvement of the conditions of humanity. The fact that science and

technology have advanced to the point wherein the space environment and the

materials of the solar system can be economically utilized to the advantage

of all is a fact of compelling importance. Consequently, the Energy Committee

of the B'nai B'rith of the State of Maryland puts its full and unequivocal

support for space industrialization into the public record,

By space indus

trialization is meant the utilization of space and non-terrestrial bodies

and materials for the benefit of mankind here on this planet.

The initial impetus for the involvement of B'nai B'rith in space in

dustrialization was the energy aspect. A major reason for the creation of the

Energy Committee was to help undertake whatever is necessary for this nation

to attain energy independence so that it can develop and implement foreign

policy free of external pressures with regard to energy.

The satellite solar power station (SSPS) is possibly the most promising means for satisfying a large fraction or maybe even all of the energy demand of the United States of America within the next thirty years. Studies have

indicated that after the construction of the first few SSPS's from all

terrestrial materials, the most cost-effective approach could very well be

to build SSPS's from non-terrestrial materials in a space manufacturing

facility (SMF).

The Energy Committee has recently formed a Space Industrialization Sub

committee to further explore and to develop the beneficial ramifications of

space industrialization. For example, an influx of materials economically

manufactured in space (because this cannot be accomplished on this planet) having unusual and desirable properties could lead to the employment of people in new industries without taking away anything from the old ones. In general, space industrialization should create the plentitude of meaningful

jobs that are necessary to combat unemployment. The Bakke case is an example

of what space industrialization would eliminate. Space industrialization

would remove the tendency to take jobs from one group of people in order to

give them to another group.

To the Jewish people who have known the effects

of quota systems this is very important.

Space industrialization would make

the pie of prosperity and employment bigger so that everyone could have a

bigger slice.

The B'nai B'rith Energy Committee of Maryland (BBECM) strongly urges that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) budget be

increased annually by 20% for every year of the ten year period commencing with FY 1979 in order to allow NASA to vigorously develop space-based energy

and energy-related options.

The BBECM feels strongly that the space approach to energy can solve much and possibly all of our energy problems within the next thirty years in terms of supplying the nation with relatively inexpensive, plentiful, and environmentally acceptable energy.

The following projects are to be undertaken with the recommended NASA

budget. The list constitutes a minimal program and could be supplemented by

other projects after the initiation of the plan.

1. Near Earth Orbit Modular Space Station (NEOMSS). The initial facility

would house six persons in 1984 with further expansion to a 50 person facility

by 1989. The object of the NEOMSS is to develop the techniques for constructing large space structures, such as 10,000 megawatt solar satellite power

stations (SSPS). The NEOMSS would incorporate laboratories and prototype

manufacturing systems either physically connected to the habitation modules or floating free in the vicinity of these modules.

2. Space Manufacturing Facilities (SMF). Used in conjunction with the

NEOMSS commencing with 1984, the pilot plants comprising the SMF would include

the capability of fabricating solar cells in free fall conditions to ascertain

if these cells can be manufactured of better quality and cheaper than on earth. Another plant, for the same reason, would produce structural composite materials. The intensity of the program should be such as to allow determination by 1989

as to which manufacturing options are most profitable and most efficacious

compared to equivalent operations on the surface of the earth. To the maximal

possible extent the SMF would be automated.

3. Pilot Satellite Solar Power Station (SSPS). The Pilot SSPS, rated at

ten megawatts, would be constructed from space shuttle delivered components

in the 1982-84 time period. It would be tested in transmissions to an earth

based facility. The purpose of this project would be to ascertain more de

finitely than can be done with theoretical studies the values of the significant

operational parameters, in particular, the possible environmental effects of

microwave transmission through the atmosphere.

Data from the pilot SSPS

would be of importance for the construction of commercial SSPS's in the post

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4. Space Transportation Systems (STS). These would be developed in the

time between now and 1989. This program would include space shuttle improve

ments, an advanced shuttle upper stage or space tug for orbit to orbit operations, and an advanced lunar lander for going from lunar orbit to lunar surface and

vice versa.

All vehicles should be capable of being operated in both manned

and unmanned modes.

5. Power Relay Satellites (PRS). At least two of these would be con

structed in the 1982-84 period. One would be active while the other would

be passive.

The PRS's would be evaluated in conjunction with the pilot SSPS.

6. Asteroid Retrieval Mission (ARM). In the 1983-86 time period, an

automated spacecraft would be sent to a suitable asteroid, to rendezvous

and dock with it, return with it and insert it into an orbit about the earth.

The primary objective of this mission would

to ascertain the feasibility

and cost-effectiveness of refining asteroidal material and utilizing the

refined matter for the manufacture of components for the construction of

large space structures, such as 10,000 megawatt SSPS's.

7. Pilot Lunar Mining and Refining Facility (PLMRF). In the 1983-86 time frame, either a manned or unmanned project (depending on which is most

feasible at the time) would emplace a facility on the lunar surface which would

mine, refine, and launch materials for use at an appropriate site in space,

presumably the SMF. As in the case of ARM, the objective of this project

would be to determine the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of this approach

to obtaining materials for construction of large space structures.

8. Large Space Antennas (LSA). This could be accomplished in the

1981-82 time frame even before the establishment of complete NEOMSS and

SMF. SSPS's will require LSA.

However, these LSA could be used for terres

trial communications purposes in the early 1980's for potentially profit

making enterprises thus illustrating that large space operations can be of commercial value at an early period of the accelerated NASA program.

9. Large Orbiting Mirrors (LOM's). A series of increasingly bigger

LOM's would be constructed between 1982 and 1989 in order to reflect sun

light to the earth for such purposes as illumination and enhancement of

agricultural production. Although the early LOM's would only be demonstration models, the later ones could be for profit-making commercial operations.

Funding in the 1990 to 2001 period would be further increased to

whatever level is necessary to allow full scale commercial operation of spacebased energy sources by the end of this century.

B'nai B'rith has considered other aspects of space industrialization. For example, there is evidence that this nation could be facing severe raw

materials shortages in the not-too distant future.

Even stringent recycling

programs with an intensive use of energy could not fully recover any particular

material. Hence, if demand keeps increasing for any particular material, such as nickel, the gap retween supply and demand would continually increase. The ARM project in the B'nai B'rith list for NASA could also be used to de

termine the feasibility of utilizing appropriate asteroids to fully supply

this country with critically needed materials by the end of this century

without the necessity for environmental concerns as would have to be considered

in the case of ocean mining. In addition, for many materials, the supply

available from non-terrestrial sources is much greater than could be obtained

from the oceans of this world.

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