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Hold for Release
Statement for the Record
Frederick H. Osborn, Jr.
Subcommittee on Space and Space Administration
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 one 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 expeloitation. 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 centri
fugal 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
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.
should build the highway to the frontier, and help the
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 servicemen for kartk 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.
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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
such a success. This is something to build on! It is 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 storage 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