« AnteriorContinuar »
Pending Policy Issues
The COMSAT Corporation represents an example of good government policy. Enabled by an act of Congress, it has been a successful commercial venture. Policy needs to be promulgated to guide other civilian applications. Questions such as who operates the programs and how is the data disseminated remain as unanswered now as they were when the promise of space application programs were first perceived several years ago. We are just starting to scratch the surface of resource evaluation and exploitation. In our society this is an area for private enterprise. Aggressive development beyond the technology sponsored by NASA in such important programs as LANDSAT and SEASAT must come from either publically-owned charters such as COMSAT Corporation was or by incentive means to encourage private investment. The absence of policy has led to some potential for role crossing. As an example, in the COMSAT 1976 Annual Report, mention is made of the fact that COMSAT General subsidiary was participating with the U. S. Geological Survey and Telesat Canada in a program to evaluate the use of satellites for the collection of water resources data from remote geographical areas. The conduct of such a study is very appropriate. From a policy point of view, is such a study appropriate to COMSAT's charter as established by the Communication Satellite Act of 1962, is it more appropriate to NASA, should it be done by the Interior Department as a major "user, or should it be performed by industry? Until we, as a nation, regularly look at the growing opportunities in space applications from the totality of their interactions; i.e., a system approach instead of considering the space segment as an end unto itself, we will be less than cost effective. The picture isn't totally dismal as more recent programs such as SEASAT have been planned on the appropriate broader base. While there are some aspects of SEASAT operational planning that are to be determined, the elements that require future resolution are recognized.
The Future with a Space Transportation System
The Space Transportation System was a programmatic entity whose time had come when it was approved. The push it received from both the technological imperative and the organizational imperative were considerable. As a very major undertaking, care must be given to assure that it is cost effectively exploited. Oversight needs to be undertaken to insure that this national capability is optimally used for all our programs, that the cost benefits be demonstrably realized, that the potential of the STS for broader space programs of national benefit be recognized and supported, and that our international obligations be discharged. All of this must be properly balanced, prioritized and scheduled since there never will be too many orbiters once the utility and availability is established in practice. Further, the risk of orbiter loss, as with any high performance airframe, cannot be treated as non-zero, at least for planning purposes.
New Major Initiatives
A case can be made for allowing the STS to reach operational maturity before
BERNARD M. OLIVER
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
1501 PAGE MILL ROAD
PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA 94304
20 January 1978
Dear Mr. Teague:
I am pleased to submit the enclosed statement for the
I am proposing a very modest beginning program to
B. M. Oliver
The Honorable Olin E. Teague, Chairman
B. M. OLIVER
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
FROM: Bernard M. Oliver
SUBJECT: ERRATA, paper entitled "SETI-A New Space Program
Please note the following typographical errors on the above
Page 1, General Observations, line 5
Should read "retroactively."
Page 2, Paragraph 3, Line 2
Should read "returns"
Page 3, Paragraph 3, Line 8
Should read "directions"