Imágenes de páginas

vinced myself that humans could even survive for a very long period in the weightless environment. However, the Spacelab missions will help us look at that.

In addition to these low orbit, near Earth activities we also in the 1980's expect to have a variety of unmanned satellites. The JupiterOrbiter-with-Probe will be launched in about 4 years. It will get to Jupiter around 1985. That means it is 3 years from launch date to the point where the satellite begins its real mission around Jupiter. We have to get used to this.

If we are going to be doing long duration experiments involving planetary probes, scientists will be spending half of their working life designing and analyzing a single experiment. I am not sure they are willing to do that if we don't have any long-term commitment to a national space program. As long as we can chop and change and delay and cancel and vary out public support and our funding, the scientist doesn't know where he is going.

So if in my comments I seem to be ignoring the scientific experimenter, it is only because I believe his needs are best served by getting a commitment to a well-defined and clear program. Once he knows where he is, he is in a position to plan also.

As Mr. Jeffs remarked, the Space Shuttle is a big step forward, but we still lack something very important. We lack a reusable vehicle that can get payloads to geosynchronous orbit and back. A lot of applications are best conducted from geosynchronous orbit.

I believe that the first priority of the U.S. space program is to concentrate on the development of a reusable spacecraft, capable of operating up to geosynchronous altitudes.

So my first proposal is simple: That a program be initiated to develop a reusable space tug and the first launch should be scheduled for 1987.

Let's look at what this would give us. Well, first of all, if we wished to reinitiate any type of renewed lunar exploration-and we need to do that before we can make rational comments about the idea of using lunar materials for construction in space-we first have to get to know the Moon a good deal better. We have to know what it can offer in resources, and what it would be like as a place to put permanent installations.

Until we know that, it is illogical to make any decisions about large space structures, except in terms of using Earth-based materials. I know that tomorrow there will be proposals made in which it is suggested that we need space colonies, and that the way to get these space colonies is to mine the Moon.

So my second proposal is, if we are to take seriously any idea of large structures in space using off-Earth materials, then we need to initiate a new manned lunar program. I would suggest that an appropriate time to do this would be to aim at the first missions for 1986. I should make two points about this. First of all, it's going to cost a lot of money. My own experience on space industrialization, in talking to some of the big companies, is that people are not yet ready to foot the bill. Industry is not yet ready to foot the bill for launching applications satellites on their own, without Government support. On the other hand, to do the things I'm talking about, NASA can't do it at the present level of their budget. I'm not suggesting that we

would undertake new programs by cutting the heart out of ongoing programs, so I am talking about a new start, and an expensive one.

If we had an ability to launch manned vehicles into geosynchronous altitudes, we wolud have the capability to install mechanisms at geosynchronous altitude which could not only be put up there, but could be routinely serviced.

Currently, we have a satellite in geosynchrous orbit which sends back a picture of the Earth every half hour, the SMS/GOES satellite. For Earth resources, which is one of my own special interests, we don't have a satellite anything like that in coverage. We get pictures back from the Landsat satellite once every 18 days. And that won't really change with Landsat-D, when it goes up in 1981.

However, if we were to take the large space telescope, which is now under development and will be launched with the Shuttle, if we were able to put that up with a Landsat-type sensor at geosynchronous altitudes, we could take pictures of the United States with a resolution approaching 10 meters, every hour, and the applications of that are very widespread. They range from monitoring of crops to monitoring of forest fires, to looking at flash floods and a host of other things I have not even tried to itemize.

It would be a very complex instrument, and I would hesitate to want to launch such an instrument unless I could go out there and service it. However, we can avoid the problem of crowding in geosynchronous orbit that Mr. Stine referred to, by putting up a combined applications platform at geosynchronous altitude. This would be a loosely coupled set of communications satellites, weather satellites and Earth resources satellites. If we could go up there with humans on board and service this, replacing instruments and adding new sensors when they became available, this would be a very attractive package.

I am not suggesting that the service and maintenance people would live up there. They would not. They would go up in order to install and modify equipment.

So my third proposal is a simple one. It is that a combined application platform involving human servicing be initiated, with first launch for that planned for 1993.

Clearly, if you had such a combined applications platform, you could also install on it a pilot version of the solar power satellite. This would not be the large structure envisioned for provision of gigawatts of power. Rather, it would be a test version, scoped to confirm a basic design philosophy and establish system efficiency.

I believe that this approach is consistent with Resolution 451, introduced by Mr. Teague in December 1977. And I believe that it has one very attractive feature: It does not put all our eggs in one basket. Quite likely, within the next 15 years we will find that we have clean fusion power here on earth. And if at that time solar power is not competitive with Earth-based fusion power, the applications platform is still justified. It still has communications uses, weather monitoring,

et cetera.

If the steps I propose are taken at the times I have suggested, the position by the end of the 1990's will be attractive.

First, we will have given up none of our options. If solar power looks economical and useful, we can have a small pilot project up there and working. At the same time, we will have a much clearer idea

whether or not the moon can be a feasible source of materials for solar power satellites and other large space structures. We will have an improved launch capability that makes further lunar work, or even manned planetary expeditions, much less expensive.

Once you can launch satellites into geosynchronous altitude, in terms of power needed you are nine-tenths of the way to anywhere you want to go.

At that point, 20 years from now, we will have to make some more decisions. But we will have many more facts available to make them than we have now. We should be able to look at solar power satellites and space stations from a much sounder basis of knowledge. The analysis of costs and benefits becomes a more reasonable activity. The danger is that we may fail to undertake initiatives now, because of fallacious attempts to see accurately to the end of this century.

I have kept myself to three main goals, and they are fairly simply stated. I have done that for a reason. In my opinion, the great thing about the Apollo program is that it had a single, clearly-defined objective and a definite completion date. Without goals like that, you cannot structure a program. And you get into the danger of a fragmented or piecemeal approach.

There is one factor that is missing from this discussion. The U.S. spends and will continue to spend considerable resources in space systems dedicated to defense objectives. Obviously, I have not sought to integrate such systems, present and planned, into my analysis.

I would like to urge this committee to seek to maximize the overlap of the civilian and military space programs and in particular, if any study results from these hearings, I believe that should be one of the prime emphases. The programs we are discussing are all expensive. To the extent that industry is able and willing to underwrite portions of it, that is good. But we still have no spare money to duplicate effort or to rediscover in the civilian sector things that are already known in the military sector.

I have a suspicion that what I have said, compared with some witnesses later in these hearings, will sound prosaic. My suggestions don't seem to have the drama or the imaginative scope that the phrase "high frontier" may conjure up, but there's a reason for that.

I believe very strongly that we have to be aware of engineering limitations in making plans. Space is a new frontier, and it is a high frontier; but most importantly, it has got to be a high technology frontier. If we try and think back to the 1500's, and to analogies of the exploration phase by which the Spanish and Portugese navigators developed the Western Hemisphere, I think we will be badly misled. Technology and engineering play a much more central role in the space program than they ever had to in the 15th and 16th century explorations.

So if we lose sight of technology, I think we will come up with a program which sounds great but which is really technological nonsense. I think that would be a tragedy, because over the last 20 years the U.S. space program, starting from a modest beginning, has amazed the world. And in my opinion it has been the only well-defined project which the United States has undertaken and in which it has succeeded.

If you look at the other major projects, like the war on crime, or Vietnam, or the war on drugs, or the expenditures on education, welfare, and energy independence, if you look at those and measure them against their objectives, they don't look too good.

I also believe that the space program, apart from its obvious publicity benefits to the United States, can really advance the U.S. technologically. And I believe that we must define our goals clearly. I don't consider at the moment that the present space program, for all its virtues, has any real goals. I consider that for the first 10 years of its life it was propelled by ideological zeal, to catch up with the Russians, and then when that goal was achieved after Apollo, it floundered badly. I think it now needs new goals, and I think Resolution 451 is a good beginning. Because without goals, you don't go anywhere. I do think that if we have those goals, the U.S. space program can accomplish in the next 20 years triumphs comparable with the last 20 years and those have been considerable.

Thank you.

Mr. FUQUA. Thank you very much, Mr. Sheffield, for your statement. I think it is evident that you spent considerable time in its preparation. It is very helpful.

If the three witnesses, Mr. Stine, Mr. Jeffs, and Mr. Sheffield, would come back to the table, we would like to proceed with some questions that the committee members may have.

Mr. Stine, you were talking about governmental policies and space industrialization. I was wondering what Government policies in your opinion need to be changed to stimulate space industrialization?

Mr. STINE. Mr. Chairman, I am not an expert in that field. As I said in my statement, it requires a good deal of further study. There are a number of people who know a great deal more about it than I do. I can get in touch with these people and give you specific answers, if you would like.

Mr. FUQUA. I would like some general idea.

Mr. STINE. Antitrust, for example, and some of the SEC regulations having to do with concentrating large amounts of capital. Those are the ones that immediately come to mind. We also may be faced with some problems along this line when, for example, the European spacelab is flown with European scientists on board and they come up with some very interesting discoveries, technical and scientific, who do they belong to? The thing is flown with U.S. tax money. The experiments are done by Europeans on board. Does the patent issue in West Germany or the United States? Whose information is it?

Mr. FUQUA. Mr. Jeffs, could you give us any enlightenment as to your thoughts on that area?

Mr. JEFFS. Well, it's a big area. As von well know. I think that the area of patents and some kind of limited patent policies are very important to encourage industrialization. I think the area of Government participation versus industry participation, particularly early in the program it is important for the Government to try to nurture these programs so that industry can get into a position of assessing the risks and the business opportunity tradeoffs in the process.

Then I think the whole area of liability, the legal aspects are significant when you begin to inject into industry operation the shuttle or the space line.

Mr. FUQUA. Mr. Sheffield, a similar type question. I think you mentioned in your statement that NASA had done very well in R. & D. but they were not an operational agency.

Mr. SHEFFIELD. I think a real problem here is that NASA is not an operational agency, but the process by which activities undertaken by NASA or any Government agency, to move things from the public to private sector, is very poorly defined. To give you two examples, NASA and other Government agencies are very much into the weather satellite business and the earth resources satellite business. My own fear is that public management is so entrenched in those programs, and the procedures by which industry can get into them are so poorly defined, that we can't force the transition.

In other words, even though the logic and the economics may say that this program is operational and economical, and what the devil is Government doing in it at all, you have to create a mechanism for divestiture from the public to the private sector; and I don't see those mechanisms. Until they are introduced, I find it hard to see how industry can hope to take over. It is almost worse than that. It is that when industry is already doing something, in some cases the Government then tends to get into it also. So not only is there no divestiture, but there is an encroachment on the private sector by the public sector. I don't know how you cure that.

Mr. FUQUA. Mr. Roe?

Mr. ROE. No questions.

Mr. FUQUA. Mr. Milford?

Mr. MILFORD. I just had a couple of questions for Mr. Stine. In your statement you mentioned the possible use of the Space Shuttle external tanks. I am curious as to what usage you could make of those.

Mr. STRINE. As I mentioned in my statement, sir, it is a pressurized insulated area and can be utilized much in the way perhaps as Skylab was. It doesn't take much more to put it into orbit. There have been some studies made as to what it would take to put it into orbit. There have been some very fine pieces of artwork done showing this in orbit with a 25-kilowatt power unit on the end of it and a small space industrial experimental lab inside of it. It is a pressurized insulated volume and that is going to be useful anywhere where you have people working in a vacuum.

Mr. MILFORD. Do you have in mind constructing or installing the equipment after it is in orbit?

Mr. STINE. Yes, sir, installing the equipment in it after it is in orbit. We would probably have to make some engineering tradeoff studies, but those things are going up there once a week and with a little extra Delta V it could be left there. Pretty soon you could have quite a number of them up there. And this makes a very large volume, much larger than Spacelab, for you to use, move things into and utilize for whatever purposes you want.

As I say, make it available to industry to use it as a free resource.

Mr. MILFORD. That might tie into the proposal the gentleman made on initiating a tug that would go all the way to synchronous altitude. Would you possibly kill two birds with one stone if you took the shuttle to a higher altitude than it is now going, or is that feasible or possible?

« AnteriorContinuar »