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Rationales for the Space Program: National Security' Commerce' ant! International Cooperation The session was mocleratect by SSB member Ralph Jacobson, a retired USAF general and president emeritus of the Charles Stark Draper Laboratories. The panelists were ASEB member Donald Cromer? former president of Hughes Space and Communications and a former USAF Lt. General; Norman Neureiter, former science advisor to the Secretary of State and former vice president of Texas Instruments Asia; and James R. Thompson, vice chairman of Orbital Sciences Corp. The panelists for this session were asked to acictress one or all of the following questions: . efforts? How should one weigh the interactions between national security, military, and civilian space Will space become an economic center of gravity? What are the contributions of space activities to U.S. foreign policy objectives? Cromer stated that as he sees it, the general public view is that the space program equals NASA. However, commercial and defense spending on space is greater than spending for NASA. Regarding the interactions between the different sectors involved in space activities, he believes that the Final Report of the Commission on the Future of the Uniter! States Aerospace Intuits try articulates some of them.) In particular he noted the report's commentary on the growing clepenclence of our military on space assets and the value of space assets to national security. These have to be regarclect as valuable pieces of a larger, broacler space program. Cromer pointed to the need for an industrial base as the aspect that perhaps unites the national security, military, and civil sectors the most. Another area where there is overlap is in technology development. Developments that are sometimes lect by the commercial area will find their way into military systems, and vice versa. On-boarct computing for communication satellites is an example of this kind of synergy. Joint clevelopment reacts to significantly greater generational improvement. There are other synergies in terms of the application of space technologies Global Positioning System (GPS), remote sensing, weather, and launch capabilities. Regarding the military's clepenclence on communication satellites, Cromer stated that more than 80 percent of the military's communications in and out of both the Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom theaters involved commercial satellite assets, not military systems. It was his opinion that the U.S. military needs to reverse the way it uses commercial systems. The military should utilize commercial assets cluring peacetime and count on military systems for the surge in capability that is needled cluring combat. According to Cromer, it is not clear that the Department of Defense's mobile telephone requirements will be met in the future without better planning and clevelopment. In Cromer's opinion, all of these issues joint technology clevelopment, taking advantage of synergies, and better planning and development by the military are clepenclent on the availability of a skilled industrial base. Cromer, acictressing whether space will become an economic center of gravity, suggested that in the broadest sense it already is. He pointed to the applications and impact of satellite weather data; the use of GPS for timing and location in so many industries, even agriculture; clirect-to-home TV; and soon, clirect- to-home Internet. In a narrower sense, commercial space is emerging. Satellite services are making money, but satellite manufacturing companies are having a tough time. Cromer felt that there will be ~ Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry, Final Report of the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry, Arlington, Virginia, 2002. 24
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growth in commercial space. In the past 6 years, the money spent for satellite-based services increased 3.5-fold, and there will clearly be an increase in the demand for satellite services. The market for these services will be dominated by North America and Europe, which will probably constitute approximately 70 percent of the total market. Cromer saw the space program's contribution to foreign policy as a leveraging tool. Success in commercial space is important in this regard, and this is where the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) are relevant to this discussion.2 Having commercial satellites on the munitions control list is not the best policy. Cromer said that the U.S. market share for commercial satellite sales went from more than 70 percent to less than 35 percent between 1999 and 2003. The impact of ITAR on satellite sales was illustrated even more sharply recently when Arabsat gave a $300 million contract to EADS instead of to Lockheed Martin, saying publicly that it was because of U.S. export regulations. Similarly, Cromer stated that although they formerly looked to U.S. companies, European satellite manufacturers are now looking to other European companies for components, because of difficulties with export controls. The worst part of it, according to Cromer, is that there is no evidence that U.S. export controls ultimately help national security. There are so many other providers of the same technology that those who seek it can find it elsewhere fairly easily. This has hurt the U.S. industrial base. Neureiter addressed the foreign policy dimensions of the space program. NASA was established as a civil space organization on purpose, leaving the military to pursue its space needs separately. International cooperation was to be part of NASA's job cooperation under NASA leadership.3 A 1999 National Research Council report identified the many ways in which the U.S. expertise in science and technology can help the federal government achieve its foreign policy and public diplomacy goals.4 In particular, the report cited 16 foreign policy goals articulated by the Department of State,5 indicating how 13 of these goals encompass considerations of science, technology, or health. Implicit in the 16 goals is the broad objective of contributing to the peace and prosperity of the world's nations. Pursuing cooperative efforts in science and technology, according to Neureiter, can help do just that. Neureiter discussed how after World War II there was a desire in the United States to do good things for neonle and the world. which led to cooperative efforts to advance. for example. the peaceful uses of 1— — — 1— — ~ — — —- 7 — — —- - — — — — 1— — — - - — — — - — - — — - —- - _ _ _ 7 _ _ _ 1 7 1 — - _ _ _ _ nuclear technology. lye Apollo program was undertaken by the United states as an Image maker to demonstrate U.S. superiority in space. It made U.S. astronauts heroes, and in later space activities, other nations' astronauts Participating in U.S. Programs also became national heroes in their countries. Good . . . .. . . . . . . . ~ . space cooperation is good diplomacy. In Neureiter's opinion, space cooperation can be a powerful instrument for building better relationships with other countries, sometimes even with ones with which relations are not so good. That was the motivation behind the initial space cooperation with the USSR in the 1970s. Polls show that Arab countries have great admiration for U.S. S&T. One might ask if any aspect of space cooperation with those countries might offer unique opportunities in the area of public diplomacy. Neureiter indicated that two issues currently dominate U.S. foreign policy, both related to the war on terrorism. One is nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the other is homeland security. Certainly, space cooperation carries a proliferation risk, as it may be connected with delivery systems. Neureiter said that all U.S. foreign policy decisions or proposed cooperative programs will be carefully screened for proliferation risks. Regarding the impact of nonproliferation concerns as manifested in 2 Code of Federal Regulations, International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Title 22, Foreign Relations, Subchapter M, Parts 120-130, Revised, April 1, 2003. 3 Public Law Number 85-568, as amended, the National Aeronautics and Space Act, 1958. 4 National Research Council, The Pervasive Role of Science, Technology, and Health in Foreign Policy. Imperatives for the Department of State, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1999. 5 "The United States Strategic Plan for International Affairs, First Revision," released by the Office of Resources Plans, and Policy, U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C., February 1999. Available at . 25
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ITAR-basect export controls, Neureiter said that recent studies have concluclect that these controls have effectively given our foreign competitors a captive market abroad. Another issue at times impeding cooperation is linkage, where, for example, to respond to a country for actions the United States floes not like, Congress may legislate a broact sanction that also can affect only remotely related fields. Once legislation is in place, changing it is very clifficult. The Iran Nonproliferation Act,6 for instance, places significant constraints on our space cooperation with Russia, which, in a manner certainly unanticipated earlier, is having an impact on work on the space station after the Toss of the Columbia shuttle. Neureiter cited a recent major conference on U.S.-China affairs, in which senior U.S. foreign policy figures referred to U.S. ties with China as America's most important bilateral relationship in the coming years. Since the issuance of the Cox Report in 1998,7 concerns over proliferation and Toss of critical technology have sharply limited space cooperation with China and have increased congressional scrutiny of the broacler cooperative relationship in S&T with China. With its recent launch of a man in space and ambitious plans for a mannect space program, China will be presenting itself as a mocle! of technical prowess for the developing world and will continue to promote its space program. Another important U.S. bilateral relationship is with India, which has expressed great interest in closer cooperation in space endeavors. That relationship is also limited because of proliferation concerns, but to a lesser extent than in the case of China. When it comes to international, cooperative, "big technology" programs Neureiter said that the United States has a mixed reputation in terms of reliability, cancellation of project funding, early withdrawal, and so on. The ISS is a big technology program with many international partners who have invested heavily in it for several years. It tract already survived one crisis involving a huge cost overrun. With the Toss of Columbia, some critics have talked about killing the ISS or even stopping manned spaceflight altogether. Despite what may be shortcomings of the ISS, the United States must not forget its partners, and any major decision should involve them. Neureiter felt that canceling the ISS unilaterally now would further contribute to the image of the United States as an unreliable partner and also be a public diplomacy failure and a huge embarrassment on the world stage, especially in view of China's success. This example could also jeopardize other nations' participation in future big S&T projects, such as the next particle accelerator. Neureiter concluclect that the best solution in terms of the image of U.S. technological leadership and public diplomacy would be to salvage the ISS and strive forward. If further analysis yields the opposite conclusion, he saint, then we must work with our partners on the final resolution. Finally, he felt strongly that the United States cannot at this stage give up on manned spaceflight altogether, regardless of decisions on specific programs. It would appear as a major retreat from a position of unquestioned global technology leadership today. Thompson started his remarks by noting his sense that some conclusions so far incluclect a need to phase out the space shuttle, improve the capabilities of the ISS to do science, and not limit the other science programs at NASA. He said that all of this would cost a great clear of money and that we should be careful not to try to cram 10 pouncts into a 5-pounct bag. The rest of his remarks, Thompson saint, would focus on the manned program, as he regarclect the science programs as excellent. Thompson said that the shuttle is a good engineering feat, but it falls short on its cost estimates. The shuttle, he saint, has been beaten up by the way that it has been used onerationallv. He agreed that it -or ~ - ------a - -- - --=,- shouict not be extenclect for too Tong, but that it will take at least 6 to 10 years, at a minimum, to meet the needs of the ISS. He said the worst thing that could be clone to the shuttle would be to "phase it out" and 6 The Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000, Public Law 106-178. 7 U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People's Republic of China, report of the Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People's Republic of China, submitted by Mr. Cox of California, chairman; May 25, 1999 declassified in part, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1999. 26
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not fund it that would do more to hurt the ISS than help it. The problem with the shuttle is with the operators, not with the vehicle itself, Thompson summarized. Thompson said he believed that the United States couict have built the ISS incrementally, but the process got out of hand and the program was too hard to control as it was implementect. The country should examine how to fix the ISS, but not kill it. That, plus not handling the shuttle appropriately, couict hurt all future efforts. Thompson noted that he thinks there is a desire to rush to get back to business. The ISS isn't cloing science, the shuttle is clown, and people are anxious. Thompson incticatect that we should take time to be smart about how we get back to flight. He said that Mars is a good Tong-term goal, but it cannot be accomplished now because we do not have the technology, in particular the propulsion technology. Furthermore Thompson incticatect that the budget situation is too hard to predict there are deficits, the war on terror, and Iraq to be dealt with. It seems too difficult to determine how the space program can compete as a priority. Thompson agreed with Cromer about the fact that all the sectors national security, military, and civil benefit from technology clevelopment, and he said he believed that NASA is the best place to do that kind of technology development. Thompson noted that aeronautical research at NASA has been unclerfunclect and ignored over the last clecacle. It should get its share, and he incticatect that hypersonic technologies are an example of technology clevelopment that could benefit all the sectors. Thompson also said that he thinks NASA should not be operating a system for the hunctrecith time, so he agreed with transferring the shuttle to private hands for its operation. In this regard he feels that the contractors ctict not step up to their responsibilities. Similarly, NASA should not operate the ISS in the Tong term. NASA is not very good at operating big systems. NASA has to be a technology striver, making new technology instead of operating oict technology. Moderator Ralph Jacobson opened the discussion by indicating that, in his opinion, policy for the various sectors of space activity gets macle on the basis of their raison ci'etre. The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and other military space programs have solid and easily identifiable reasons for being the defense of this republic. In defense, there is so much competition for resources that if a program or a technology asset survives at all, that is a commentary on its support and value. In the commercial world, the market is the primary driver, the primary reason for being. However, policy can affect our nation's strength in the market, and our current ITAR policy hurts our position in the market. Jacobson said that the civil space program's reason for being is difficult to articulate. If one were forced to choose between the civil space program's science missions and the missions of the NRO, the NRO would win. Human spaceflight or human exploration can be justified in terms of visible evidence of technical prowess, but the recent record is poor and this workshop has shown how that can be harmful for the program. This difficulty in justification needs to be acictressect. Fisk started the question period off by asking whether or not the United States has clemonstratect its technological prowess in so many other ways over the past 10 years that the space program doesn't have to do that anymore. Neureiter said that he thinks that the space program is not just about demonstrating. It is about building a global fabric of relationships that will survive no matter what bact things might happen. Neureiter said that in parts of the world the United States is feared for its power and that others are concerned with how we use our power. Cooperation in our civil space programs helps allay those concerns. Jernigan followed up by asking if the space program and cooperation in human spaceflight decrease the probability of war. Neureiter said that he thinks they clo, in that they can be tools to buiTct relationships with those who agree with the United States and also to reach out to start the foundation of a more stable relationship with those who may not so completely agree with us on other issues. It's a way to engage, and Neureiter believes engagement helps. Cooperation in space programs may be limited in what it can clo, but it is important to try. Citing China as an example, Cromer agreed and said that through space we can make friends and build trust. 27
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Following this remark on China, SSB member James Burch asked, "If China lancts on the Moon in 10 years, should the United States be there to greet them?" All of the panelists agreed that going to the Moon for the sake of beating the Chinese in another space race was not the right thing to clot Frosch ctiscussect our past history of cooperation. The United States would make its own decisions and then try to convince its international partners to agree. In the future, Frosch saint, we need to turn to the international community, lay out the problems and the potential solutions, and figure them out together. European Space Science Committee Chair Gerharct Haerencle! agreed, saying that future endeavors must be viewed as truly global from the outset. Byerly said that the United States seems to have only two choices, as the human spaceflight program stancts now. Either turn off the current programs now and start over, or run them forever. Obviously though, we cannot do either, so how do we transition to a new state? What should be the criteria? Logsclon followed up on Byerly's comment by suggesting that perhaps a new goal or new destination can serve as an exit strategy to get away from the current programs the shuttle and the ISS. The United States needs to have a kind of roacimap from where we are to where we want to go. As Logsclon put it to the audience, Can we use the coalition in place with the ISS as a planning basis for future cooperation? He said he thinks a potential problem will be resources: "Can you get 100 percent of the costs if the United States doesn't step up for 75 percent of the functing?" He thinks not. Giacconi said he can imagine an international human exploration program, but he cannot really see it happening because of space's links to defense. Cromer enclect the session by indicating that whatever choices are macle, the nation needs to see "restructuring" or else nothing will be fixed. This includes restructuring NASA, restructuring funding mechanisms, and restructuring the space program's rationale. 28
Representative terms from entire chapter: