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Hold for Release
Until Presented by Witness
January 24, 1978

Statement for the Record


Frederick H. Osborn, Jr.

Vice President
Hudson River Conservation Society

Putnam County Bicentennial Commission

to the

Subcommittee on Space and Space Administration

of the
Committee on Science and Technology

U.S. House of Representatives

America needs a new frontier.

Leaving Europe, sailag

the Atlantic and carving homes from the wilderness selected for our progenitors men and women with a low tolerance for the status quo, high courage and a sense of adventure.

Many of us have inherited these qualities.

They make for

a cantankerous citizenry, but on singularly responsive

to challenge. But where is the frontier today? Taking over other people's territory by slaughtering the natives has gone out of style. We are beginning to recognize the fragility of the delicate planetary shell on which we live.

Photos taken by the Apollo astronauts helpd that.

It won't

stand much more crowding and exploitation.

The old

earth is pretty well filled up; so we grow radicals,

hippies, and flower children today instead of sturdy


We can open frontiers within ourselves, try to live small, and limit our growth, but our instincts for adventure and freedom may not be able to adapt to such


Or we can go up and out hundreds and thousands of miles above us, to where there is virtually unlimited

Synthesized energy; where gravity can be "Synthised by using centrifugal force; where hard vacuums, so expensive to produce on earth, are free; where temperatures range from close to absolute zero to millions of degrees to power new jobs; where new sources of raw materials are available on the


moon, among the meteoroids and asteroids, and the moons

of other planets.

These are wide open spaces to which

the "endless" prairies of colonial pioneer days are

crowded Tokyos.

For a while the space between the planets will be harsh and unforgiving, just as this land of ours was harsh and unforgiving in the early days. Our government should build the highway to the frontier, and help the early settlers, just as earlier governments sent out the Lewis and Clark Expedition, aided the transcontinental railroads, provided grants of land. We wouldn't have won

the West without that help.

First there will be work cubicles, like Skylab, or the Soviet Soyuz now orbiting above us, from which men and women will build power stations for sending energy

to earth via microwave.

Such power stations can make

the United State an energy exporting nation again without

desecrating our environment. It will be possible to repair communications satellites. Scientists will do research

with orbiting telescopes and sophisticated instruments without atmospheric interference. There will be service

men for karkk satellites which observe the weather and

survey the earth for minerals and fuels.

There will be

manufacturing modules to make quality crystals for computers. The Soviets are working on all this, as reported in the Christian Science Monitor of January 13th. There will

be explorers searching for raw materials among the meteroids.

24-215 O -78 - 56


When the work

force increases the work cubicles will

increase to space habitats, and the habitats to colonies, just as the sod huts of the prairies increased to towns, and the towns to Memphis, Houston, and Los Angeles.

Advancing the opportunities for using the space of

the Solar System for the benefit of humankind should be

a national goal.

During these hearings you are being told by experts that the technology is feasible. You know this is true

because Apollo, Skylab, and Viking have shown the way. You know, too, I hope, that the billions spent on the moon

[blocks in formation]

one of the very few things that has given the taxpayer

back more than he has paid in.

I have a specific request to make of this Committee. I want to see a receiving antenna, a rectenna, receiving energy from a satellite solar power station via microwave.


I would like to see it over the horizon off the south

shore of Long Island. The rectenna should be of optimum size, perhaps three miles in diameter, delivering seven

to ten thousand megawatts, enough to power the City of

New York and part of Westchester County.

Then we won't

need contraversial power plants in the Hudson Valley

polluting the air, fouling the river, and generating

nuclear wastes for sto

age and disposal over thousands

of years to come.

I would like to put in a bid for a Satellite Solar

Power Station for New York City now. I would like to.

see one operating within my lifetime, paying back the taxpayer's investment and serving as a prototype for

providing the rest of the nation and the world with power.

Under the pressure of World War II our country developed

the atom bomb from chain reaction to Hiroshima in three

years, the Manhattan Project.

President Carter, in his first speech on energy a

year ago said the energy problem was so serious it should

be attacked on a wart ime footing.

Satellite Solar Power

Stations are a much simpler concept than atom bombs.

We know far more about them than we did about isotope

separation in 1942.

Arthur D. Little and Boeing have

told me seven to eight years at Apollo pressure would

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