SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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SPACE PLANES AND X-VEHICLES
SUBCOMMITTEE ON SPACE AND AERONAUTICS
COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
OCTOBER 11, 2001
Serial No. 10722
Printed for the use of the Committee on Science
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.house.gov/science
COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE
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HON. SHERWOOD L. BOEHLERT, New York, Chairman
LAMAR S. SMITH, Texas
CONSTANCE A. MORELLA, Maryland
CHRISTOPHER SHAYS, Connecticut
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
JOE BARTON, Texas
KEN CALVERT, California
NICK SMITH, Michigan
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
VERNON J. EHLERS, Michigan
DAVE WELDON, Florida
GIL GUTKNECHT, Minnesota
CHRIS CANNON, Utah
GEORGE R. NETHERCUTT, JR., Washington
FRANK D. LUCAS, Oklahoma
GARY G. MILLER, California
JUDY BIGGERT, Illinois
WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
TIMOTHY V. JOHNSON, Illinois
MIKE PENCE, Indiana
FELIX J. GRUCCI, JR., New York
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMELISSA A. HART, Pennsylvania
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
RALPH M. HALL, Texas
BART GORDON, Tennessee
JERRY F. COSTELLO, Illinois
JAMES A. BARCIA, Michigan
EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, Texas
LYNN C. WOOLSEY, California
LYNN N. RIVERS, Michigan
ZOE LOFGREN, California
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
BOB ETHERIDGE, North Carolina
NICK LAMPSON, Texas
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
MARK UDALL, Colorado
DAVID WU, Oregon
ANTHONY D. WEINER, New York
BRIAN BAIRD, Washington
JOSEPH M. HOEFFEL, Pennsylvania
JOE BACA, California
JIM MATHESON, Utah
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
DENNIS MOORE, Kansas
MICHAEL M. HONDA, California
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Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics
DANA ROHRABACHER, California, Chairman
LAMAR S. SMITH, Texas
JOE BARTON, Texas
KEN CALVERT, California
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
DAVE WELDON, Florida
CHRIS CANNON, Utah
GEORGE R. NETHERCUTT, JR., Washington
FRANK D. LUCAS, Oklahoma
GARY G. MILLER, California
MIKE PENCE, Indiana
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
SHERWOOD L. BOEHLERT, New York
BART GORDON, Tennessee
NICK LAMPSON, Texas
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
DENNIS MOORE, Kansas
ZOE LOFGREN, California
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
BOB ETHERIDGE, North Carolina
MARK UDALL, Colorado
DAVID WU, Oregon
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCANTHONY D. WEINER, New York
RALPH M. HALL, Texas
ERIC STERNER Subcommittee Staff Director
BILL ADKINS Professional Staff Member
ED FEDDEMAN Professional Staff Member
RUBEN VAN MITCHELL Professional Staff Member
CHRIS SHANK Professional Staff Member
RICHARD OBERMANN Democratic Professional Staff Member
MICHAEL BEAVIN Legislative Assistant
C O N T E N T S
October 11, 2001
Opening Statement by Dana Rohrabacher, Chairman, Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, U.S. House of Representatives
Opening Statement by Bart Gordon, Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, U.S. House of Representatives
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSteven J. Lambakis, National Security and International Affairs Analyst, National Institute for Public Policy
Peter R. Huessy, President, PRH & Company, Potomac, Maryland; Senior Defense Associate, National Defense University Foundation, Fort McNair, DC
Mitchell Burnside Clapp, Aerospace Engineer and Former Air Force Officer; CEO, Pioneer Rocket Company
Ambassador Henry F. Cooper, Chairman of High Frontier and Applied Research Associates; Visiting Fellow to The Heritage Foundation; Former Strategic Defense Initiative Director, 19901993
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCReusable Satellites
Low Cost Space Access for an SMV
SMV Development and Cost Issues
Reprioritizing the Air Force Budget
Consideration of Other Funding Sources
Private Sector SMV Investment
Government Commitment to an SMV Program
Making the Hard Choices
SPACE PLANES AND X-VEHICLES
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2001
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics,
Committee on Science,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2:07 p.m., in Room 2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Dana Rohrabacher [Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding.
Chairman ROHRABACHER. I hereby call this meeting of the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee to order. And without objection, the Chair will be granted the authority to recess this Committee. My support for reusable launch vehicles is based on a firm commitment to bringing down the cost of launching satellites into space. And once there, the ability to maneuver in space that the space maneuvering vehicle would give us is critical, just as critical as bringing down the cost.
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That said, I support new efforts that would lead to things like space tourism, space power beaming, rapid package delivery, satellite power, etcetera, etcetera. And the hearing today will focus on the development of space maneuvering vehicles and the opportunities that such vehicles would create.
It is with this understanding that I support NASA's X37 program under its Space Launch Initiative. The X37 represents a fundamental step in the path towards achieving an operational space plane and a new chapter in the American space experience. Given the events of last month, I also believe that this type of technology should be pursued in a much more vigorous manner for a number of reasons.
Consensus is wide spread concerning the value of space-based operations in support of the full space mission spectrum. So goes, of course, for national defense. In fact, the Defense Secretary, Don Rumsfeld, the Rumsfeld Space Commission, states the military reasons for reusable launch vehicles by saying, ''. . .the United States deterrence and defense capabilities depend critically on assured and timely access to space.'' And further notes, ''. . .the United States should continue to pursue revolutionary reusable launch vehicle technologies.''
Industry representatives before this Subcommittee pointed out that space operations allows satellite more rapid technology upgrades. Thus, we can use a space maneuvering vehicle to improve those satellites that are already in orbit. The issue then becomes one of translating desired capabilities to an X-vehicle demonstrator that leads to an operational space plane. We must remind ourselves that the payoff in X-vehicle demonstrations includes such things as the freedom to move critical space assets anywhere and at any time, or the ability to conduct global reach operations from the United States to any location in the world within minutes.
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That said, I look forward to today's panel to the discussions we will have and I hope that space will be further serving the people of the United States in the cause of peace and prosperity in the year's ahead by the decisions that we make about the space maneuvering vehicles and acquiring these new abilities in space that we are talking about. I would now like to recognize Ranking Member Bart Gordon from Tennessee for his opening statement.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Rohrabacher follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN DANA ROHRABACHER
My support for reusable launch vehicles is based on a firm commitment to bringing down the cost of launching satellites to space. The ability to maneuver in space once there is just as critical. That said, I support new efforts that would lead to things like space tourism, space power beaming, and rapid package delivery service. The hearing today will focus on the development of space maneuverable vehicles and the opportunities to develop near-Earth space that would be created. It is with this understanding why I support NASA's X37 Program under its Space Launch Initiative. The X37 represents a fundamental step in the path towards achieving an operational space plane and a new chapter in the American space experience. Given the events of last month, I also believe this type of technology should be pursued in a much more vigorous manner.
Consensus is wide spread concerning the value of space-based operations in support of the full space missions spectrum. The Defense Secretary as chairman of the ''Rumsfeld Space Commission'' states precisely the military reasons for reusable launch vehicles by saying the ''. . .United States deterrence and defense capabilities depend critically on assured and timely access to space.'' He further notes that the ''. . .U.S. should continue to pursue revolutionary reusable launch vehicle technologies.'' Industry representatives before this Subcommittee pointed out that space operations allow satellites to be more responsive to rapid technology upgrades demanded by the marketplace. The issue then becomes one of translating desired capabilities to an XVehicle demonstrator that leads to an operational space plane. We must remind ourselves that the payoff in XVehicle demonstrations includes such things as the freedom to move critical space assets anywhere and at anytime, or the ability to conduct global reach operations from the U.S. to any location in the world in minutes.
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That said, I look forward to today's panel discussion and the hope of space serving the American people in a greater way.
Mr. GORDON. Thank you. Good afternoon. I would like to welcome our witnesses to today's hearing. We are holding this hearing because Chairman Rohrabacher's strong interest in space planes and in the X37 project in particular. I look forward to the testimony of the witnesses that are here. I understand that they are supporters of military and civilian space planes and I will be interested in hearing their reasons.
At the same time, I am aware that the Air Force has recently spoken quite clearly on the X37 project. To quote from the Secretary of the Air Force September 6 letter to Administrator Goldin''We have concluded that any additional military utility that could be gained by completing the X33 and the X37 flight programs does not warrant the cost to the Air Force.'' I would like the witnesses to respond to the Air Force concerns. And if you disagree with the Air Force position, what DoD programs would you recommend be cut to fund continuing Air Force participation in the X37?
Well, again, I want to welcome the witnesses and look forward to hearing your testimony. Thank you.
Chairman ROHRABACHER. Thank you very much. And opening statements of other members will be put into the written record. And so we can get right to the testimony. And hearing no objection, so ordered. I also ask, of course, unanimous consent to insert at the appropriate place in the record the background memorandum prepared by the majority staff for this hearing. And hearing no objection, so ordered.
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[The information follows:]
SUBCOMMITTEE ON SPACE AND AERONAUTICS
COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Space Planes and X-Vehicles
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2001
2:00 P.M.4:00 P.M.
2318 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING
The hearing will examine space plane technologies and the opportunities they would create for low Earth orbit civil, military, and commercial space-based applications. Witnesses will assess the need for these technologies as well as current plans to develop commercial, civil, and military space planes.
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Dr. Steve Lambakis is a national security and international affairs analyst specializing in space power and policy studies at the National Institute for Public Policy. He is the author of the recent book, On the Edge of Earth: The Future of American Space Power.
Mr. Peter Huessy is president of PRH & Company, a defense-consulting firm. He is also a senior defense associate at the National Defense University Foundation, where his areas of specialty include nuclear weapons, missile defense, space, terrorism, and the congressional role in U.S. defense and foreign policy.
Mr. Mitch Clapp is an aerospace engineer and former Air Force officer who is CEO of Pioneer Rocket Company.
Amb. Henry Cooper is Chairman of High Frontier and Applied Research Associates. He is also Visiting Fellow to the Heritage Foundation and a former Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) director, 19901993. Amb. Cooper was appointed by Ronald Reagan as Chief U.S. Negotiator at the Geneva Defense and Space Talks with the Former Soviet Union (19851989).
Since the beginning of the space age, people have traditionally sent payloads to orbit with an expendable launch vehicle (ELV). The process of launching an ELV involves discarding stages during the rocket's ascent into space. The last stage carries either a crew or payload/cargo capsule. These stages eventually fall back to Earth and usually burn up in the Earth's atmosphere. (Crew capsules contain heat shields and other re-entry systems that enable them and their occupants to safely return to Earth.) Thus, an expendable rocket is used only once. Because each rocket launch requires the creation of a new launch vehicle, ELVs are an inefficient means of delivering payloads to space.
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Engineers have long thought they could reduce the cost of access to space by developing a reusable launch vehicle (RLV), which would operate more like an airplane. After delivering its payload to orbit, an RLV would return to Earth, where it could be refueled and launched again. Thus, one would not incur the cost of building a new launch vehicle every time a payload was launched.
The Space Shuttle became the first reusable launch vehicle to provide a reliable means of transporting people and cargo to and from space. At the time of its deployment in the early 1980's the Space Shuttle was expected to revolutionize space activities associated with civil space science and applications and national defense missions. Unfortunately, the Shuttle has yet to satisfy expectations of providing low-cost, routine access to space.
By the late 1980s, however, the Department of Defense's Strategic Defense Initiative Office (later known as the Ballistic Missile Defense Office or BMDO) determined that neither the Shuttle nor the existing fleet of ELVs would meet its needs. The DoD needed a reusable launch capability that was affordable and responsive to flexible launch schedules. BMDO renewed its own efforts to develop a low-cost, reusable launch vehicle that would meet military requirements.
In 1994, the Clinton Administration released its National Space Transportation Policy establishing guidelines for rationalizing the federal research investment and revitalizing the nation's space transportation capabilities. The Policy established NASA as the lead agency for technology development and for the demonstration of second-generation (i.e., a post-Shuttle) reusable space transportation systems. The Department of Defense became responsible for improving the existing U.S. expendable launch vehicle (ELV) fleet. BMDO transferred the DCX (an experimental RLV concept) to NASA, and DOD focused its space launch activities on incrementally improving expendable launch vehicles, which it relied to place its unmanned payloads into space.
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Government Pathfinder/XVehicle Programs
NASA's RLV technology development programs over the past decade have included experimental flight projects intended to demonstrate operational capabilities (X33, X34, X40A, and X37). The X33 was intended to demonstrate technologies and operational concepts with the goal of reducing space transportation costs to one tenth of their current level. The Boeing Co. and the Air Force entered into a cooperative arrangement to develop a Space Maneuver Vehicle, or X40A, as part of a military space plane program.(see footnote 1) This program involved development of a reusable spacecraft that could be launched on a variety of launch vehicles, remain in orbit while performing military or civilian missions, and then return to Earth. Finally, the Pathfinder X37 Program includes the development of the X37 in-space flight demonstrator, which is the first experimental vehicle to be flown in both orbital and reentry environments. Earlier this year, NASA decided to cancel the X33 and X34 Programs, because NASA had concluded that these projects would not support its on-going space transportation initiative: the Space Launch Initiative (SLI)/2nd Generation RLV Program. As a result, the X37 remains the only viable NASA X-vehicle demonstrator available to prove on-orbit operational capabilities. The pending cancellation of the X37 would ensure the end of a near-term means to demonstrate in-space transportation capabilities. As such, NASA is planning to move forward with demonstration flights involving the X37.
The Air Force decided to discontinue its support of the X37 beyond FY2001. This decision increases the likelihood that these opportunities will not be realized. The Air Force claims the X37 Program is not specifically designed to demonstrate military technologies while on-orbit. Industry claims, however, that the X37 is a vital program, because of its importance in demonstrating in-space transportation operational capabilities. The X37 may be viewed, therefore, as an initial and critical step within a long-term RLV technology development strategy for demonstrating how to operate a reusable rocket system in flight. The knowledge gained in such an undertaking would prove valuable in supporting both military and civilian space operations.
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Commercial Benefits of a Space Plane
Development of a space plane technology that provided affordable space access and in-space maneuverability could benefit the commercial and civil sectors in ways that were unimaginable a decade ago. The ability to service satellites while in space may fundamentally change how satellites are designed and manufactured. On-orbit satellite servicing may permit streamlining of manufacturing processes. For example, modular components for accommodating rapid technology upgrades may become the standard design for satellites in the field. Other space services made possible by the development of a space plane may include retrieval of satellites from their operating orbit, rapid passenger and package delivery service to many points on the globe, and tourism. Maneuverability in space would also afford space assets the capability to make orbital plane changes. Satellite operators would be free to access a wide range of orbits, thereby increasing the flexibility and efficiency of scientific space missions.
Military Applications of Space Plane Technology
DoD has recently begun exploring space capabilities that can contribute to the transformation of the roles and function of the U.S. military in the 21st Century. Such studies view space planes as valuable for supporting new military capabilities. For example, the means to launch ''operationally useful satellites'' on demand affords the military greater flexibility in areas like space surveillance, satellite repositioning, and power projection. The ability to perform in-space transportation would enable the U.S. to gain the strategic high ground and protect vital space assets, remove the threat posed by orbiting space debris, make changes in satellite position at will. Additionally, space planes have the potential to perform on-demand reconnaissance, fly over any location from the continental United States, maximize data collection, and complement air expeditionary forces by providing a rapid response to threats worldwide. The SMV also could allow for the recovery and reuse of critical payloads with relative cost savings. An SMV is only possible, however, if the appropriate technologies are demonstrated.
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Space launch and space operations have the potential to support a wide range of space interests, including commercial, civil, intelligence, international, and military sectors. Improving the interoperability among these sectors hinges on the development and deployment of new operational capabilities. Reusable launch vehicles or space planes provide the necessary technical capability for rapid and affordable access to space and maneuverability in space.
Space missions of those government agencies, such as NASA and the Air Force, may benefit from past successes involving previous X-vehicle programs. NASA and the Air Force should work in concert in developing the launch infrastructure necessary for insuring the success of the X37, or other programs that share similar goals. The Air Force does plan to develop ''roadmaps'' for identifying future military space flight needs. However, it is important to understand that the initial step in the path towards an operational space plane is a space launch demonstration.
1) How do space-based operations specifically support U.S. deterrence strategy?
2) What progress have foreign space-faring countries made in the area of in-space transportation?
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC3) What are the commercial applications of a space-maneuvering vehicle?
4) What are the limitations involving Space Shuttle support of space operations?
5) What are the prospects of the private sector funding development of an SMV?
Chairman ROHRABACHER. We have a distinguished Panel with us today to explain their unique perspectives on the space planes and the concept of the space planes. And they will also, of course, be able to provide us maybe a list of the benefits and both civilian and military potential benefits of having this capability. I would ask you to summarize your testimony to a 5-minute period, and then we can put the rest of your statement into the record. But that gives us time then to question and also promote a dialogue between the witnesses.
Our first witness is Steve Lambakis who is a National Security and International Affairs Analyst specializing in space power and policy studies at the National Institute for Public Policy. He is the author of the recent book, ''On the Edge of the Earth: The Future of American Space Power.'' And I welcome you and you may proceed.
STATEMENT OF DR. STEVE LAMBAKIS, NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY
Mr. LAMBAKIS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee. Thank you very much for inviting me here today.
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There are two ways to assess the value of continuing research and development on reusable launch technologies. We must evaluate these technologies, first, in light of the national requirement for assured access to space, and, second, for the role they may play in facilitating our ability to use space to enhance force operations and undertake offensive and defensive combat operations in and from space.
By all political, economic, strategic, and military measures, it is clear that this Nation is committed to exploiting space. The systems we require to launch payloads into orbit are fundamental to all other space activities and missions we undertake there. A flexible, survivable, reliable launch infrastructure will be required to maintain and reconstitute satellite constellations and will make possible development of new forms of military power.
The disconcerting launch failures of the 1980's and '90's remind us that we are, in fact, even today, riding on the edge of a bubble that could burst at anytime. All it takes for that bubble to break is an unkind combination of failures, misfortunes, or disruption caused by hostile acts. The pay-off for our succeeding in the development of critical technologies and in the engineering of reliable, affordable systems could be so great, the military, commercial, and civil ramifications so extensive, that it is prudent to press forward on as many fronts as we possibly can.
We are really looking for a capability, a rapid response capability to orbit. Our experience with other modes of transportation, especially the aircraft industry, tells us that the best path to achieving that capability may be investment in reusable launcher technologies. Yet, I believe we must also recognize that such technologies may not immediately clear that path for us. Maybe the answer to rapid, reliable, and affordable launch over the near term lies with expendables.
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So I believe we need to consider all the possibilities in a broad development effort, and to do what we can do to achieve that capability we are after. This means that we should take care to learn the lessons and harness the results from all of our past experiments and development efforts, to include work on the DCX, X33, and X37 programs.
A military space plane could provide the agility, flexibility, and military robustness we are looking for to meet unique requirements in intelligence, combat, logistics, and space support. As with any other weapons procurement program, we need to evaluate each proposed weapon according to reasonable affordability and military utility criteria, and we also need to make judgments about the usefulness of those weapons in the larger foreign and defense policy contexts.
It is important to recognize that there are key questions to ask when we make decisions concerning a military space plane. What would itwould it make our military forces more operationally efficient? Would it help the United States remain one or even two steps ahead of its foes in military capability and technology? Would it give our leaders and commanders more options? Would it enhance our deterrent? I believe that we are likely to find positive answers to many of these questions.
We ought to expect that our security circumstances from time to time will change and demand changes in the strategic concept of each of the military services. That the strategic concept of a service is fundamentally a description of how, when, and where it expects to protect the Nation against a particular threat. A service's reason for being will depend upon its ability to develop a new strategic concept related to newly perceived threats and military requirements. There is no question the Air Force will have to change its culture and its bureaucratic orientation in order to accommodate the changes we are seeing in the world and in our national interests.
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But I am not convinced that the cause of our present difficulties in leadership in this area lies entirely with the Air Force. Indeed, I see significant defects in policy-making that have led to inadequate expressions of support for our services when it comes to exploring new concepts and developing systems for new mission possibilities in space.
To strike first at the obvious-current policy gives RLV development mission lead to NASA, while the Air Force has been directed to develop evolved expendable launch vehicle systems. Some have described this sharingas a sharing responsibility for launcher development. I view this arrangement more as one that divides responsibility for development, which means that there are inadequate mechanisms in place to ensure sharing of ideas and technology cross-fertilization.
Mr. Chairman, the United States has committed significant energy and resources to space operations, ensuring the country's growing dependence on reliable and unrestricted access to Earth's orbits. Given its global dimensions, and given our national interests, space is the one environment where we can least afford to be surprised. It is also an environment that, I believe, we can least afford not to exploit.
Thank you. And I look forward to answering any questions you may have.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Lambakis follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF STEVEN LAMBAKIS
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, thank you very much for inviting me here today. This morning I would like to briefly address the integral importance of space in our national lives and explain the pressing need I see for developing launch technologies to ensure our continued access to earth orbits and potentially contribute to our national military power. I will conclude my remarks with some thoughts about the paradigms in which we operate and that we use to make decisions.
There are two ways to assess the value of continuing research and development on reusable launch technologies. We must evaluate these technologies, first, in light of the national requirement for assured access to space, and second, given the potentially significant military applications of reusable launch technologies, for the role they may play in facilitating our ability to use space to enhance force operations and undertake offensive and defensive combat operations in and from space.
We have seen significant changes in the space field over the past decade. There should be little doubt today that space operations help sustain our national economy, profoundly impact our most important diplomatic and national planning activities, and, increasingly, provide key support to all modern military forces. The spacecraft we routinely set in orbit influence the national and global distributions of power, help advance science and other disciplines in understanding, and powerfully impact the creation of national and personal wealth. Commercial uses of space will expand over the next decade by many hundreds of satellites, requiring by some estimates a total investment of more than one half a trillion dollars. Given the increased foreign and commercial activities in space, we have seen, and will continue to see, a globalization of space infrastructures. With more than $100 billion invested in space by 1999, it is reasonable to assume continued U.S. government investment in space will continue to sustain and expand national industry, economy, science, and security. By all political, economic, strategic, and military measures, it is clear that this nation is committed to exploiting space. I believe our commitments today will help shape our national future with respect to that environment.
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There are a growing number of space powers and space-faring nations. I define a space-faring nation as any country that has national space infrastructure or that owns or operates assets in orbit. A space power on the other hand is any country with the capacity to use for national purposes (economic or military) its national assets, if it is has any, as well as commercial space assets and assets belonging to other countries or international consortia. There are, to be sure, gradations of space power, with perhaps some of the most competent users of space being those countries that have robust national space infrastructures as well as the experience and technical expertise to use information from a variety of satellites in artful and integrated ways.
As is the case with all knowledge and technologies, we can be assured that the technologies and expertise associated with space operations will continue to proliferate. As the cost to reach orbit declines, we may expect even more international activity and heavier traffic in space. The United States must endeavor to undertake those activities that will help maintain its preeminence in space.
The systems we require to launch payloads into orbit are fundamental to all the other space activities and missions we undertake. A flexible, survivable, reliable launch infrastructure will be required to maintain and reconstitute satellite constellations and will make possible development of new forms of military power. The disconcerting launch failures of the 1980s and 1990s remind us that we are in fact, even today, riding on the edge of a bubble that could burst at anytime. All it takes for that bubble to break is an unkind combination of failures and misfortunes. Therefore, the pay-off for our succeeding in the development of critical technologies and in the engineering of reliable, affordable systems could be so great, the military, commercial, and civil ramifications so extensive, that it is prudent to press forward on as many fronts as we possibly can.
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We are really looking for a capabilitya rapid response capability to orbit. Our experience with other modes of transportation, especially the aircraft industry, tells us that the best path to achieving that capability may be investment in reusable launcher technologies. Yet I believe we must also recognize that such technologies may not immediately clear that path for us. I say this because we are not far enough along today to know exactly the right technology path, or the right approach to ensuring reliable, rapid, affordable launch for this country, especially over the next decade or two. We must not lose sight of the fact that we are trying to engineer an unprecedented capability. Many experts suspect that the answer to many of the launch challenges we face lies in reusable launch technology, and they may very well be right. But maybe the answer to rapid, reliable, and affordable launch over the near term lies with expendables.
So I believe we need to press ahead on several fronts, to consider all the possibilities in a broad development effort, and to do what we can do to achieve the capability we are after. This means that we should take care to learn the lessons and harness the results from all of our past experiments and development efforts, to include the launch-on-demand technologies demonstrated by the DCX program and the single stage to orbit technologies developed as part of NASA's X33 program. The maneuver capabilities under investigation as part of the X37 project represent important steps in the development of a space maneuver capability, which could help this country carry out important military missions. The implications of our success in the engineering of a reusable system could reach well beyond traditional space support. Indeed, our ability to routinely send payloads aloft or send manned missions to orbit could reveal heretofore unthinkable possibilities in the areas of logistics and support and even force enhancement. We cannot predict entirely where new technology development will lead and how it will impact other industries and government activities.
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An attention to history reminds us that we ought to expect expressions of international hostility not only to continue to occur on Earth, but also to occur in and from space. Political-strategic uncertainty will ensure that our defense planners never rest. The quest for advantage, security, and prestige will continue in space. The military importance of space today is centered on the information gathering and handling operations of satellites to inform decision makers and enhance war-fighting operations. As an environment accessible to combat operations, it is also clear that space may be used not only to enhance operations, but also to facilitate space control and force application operations.
The U.S. armed forces, therefore, may be among the principal beneficiaries of a breakthrough in reusable launch vehicle technologies. The world has changed from ten years ago. Indeed, from a national security perspective, the threats we face are dynamic and may be expected to shift, sometimes unexpectedly, from region to region. Reusable launch vehicle technologies could well improve reconnaissance capabilities, enhance the accuracy with which we deliver munitions and ensure that they are delivered under positive control (with potential for recall), increase military range of action and responsiveness, and strengthen penetration power. Developments in these areas may be expected to have profound implications for how we guard the peace, deter adversaries, and fight wars.
We must bear in mind that our military requirements and the instruments of war we require to ensure our safety will change over time. In his 1787 defense of the then-proposed U.S. Constitution, Alexander Hamilton admonished anyone who would arbitrarily restrict instruments of war because, he said, ''it is impossible to foresee or define the extent and variety of national exigencies, or the correspondent extent and variety of the means which may be necessary to satisfy them. The circumstances that endanger the safety of nations are infinite.'' The truth of Hamilton's statement was tragically confirmed by the infamous events that took place in New York and here at the Pentagon on this day last month.
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A military space plane could provide the agility, flexibility, and military robustness we are looking for to meet unique requirements in intelligence, combat, logistics, and space support. As with any other weapons procurement program, we need to evaluate each proposed weapon according to reasonable affordability and military utility criteria, and we also need to make judgments about the usefulness of those weapons in the larger foreign and defense policy contexts. It is important to recognize that there are important questions to ask as we make decisions concerning a military space plane. Would it make our military forces more operationally efficient? Would it offer critical operational and tactical advantages? Would it help the United States remain one or even two steps ahead of its foes in military capability and technology? Would it give our leaders and commanders more options? Would the ability to conduct stand-off, long-range, non-nuclear strikes enhance our deterrent? I believe that we are likely to find positive answers to many of these questions.
We ought to expect that our security circumstances from time to time will demand changes in the strategic concept of each of the military Services. The strategic concept of a Service is fundamentally a description of how, when, and where it expects to protect the nation against some threats. A Service's reason for being will depend upon its ability to develop a new strategic concept related to newly perceived threats and military requirements.
Clearly the paradigms we use to understand the world and orient our decision-making may need to be changed. Many see the need for such change in the United States Air Force. It is argued that this Service's cultural attachment to the development and improvement of air power means that there is not enough room to appropriately grow the space mission area. There is no question that the Air Force will have to change its culture and its bureaucratic orientation in order to accommodate the changes we are seeing in the world and in our national interests.
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But I am not convinced that the cause of our present difficulties in leadership in this area lies entirely with the Air Force. Indeed, I see significant defects in policy-making that have led to inadequate expressions of support for our Services when it comes to exploring new concepts and developing systems for new mission possibilities in space. To strike first at the obviouscurrent policy gives the RLV development mission lead to NASA, while the Air Force has been directed to develop evolved expendable launch vehicle systems. Some have described this as ''sharing'' responsibility for launcher development. I view this arrangement differently. I see this arrangement as one that divides responsibility for development, which means there are inadequate mechanisms in place to ensure sharing of ideas and technology cross-fertilization. I believe it is prudent to give execution authority to the Air Force to develop reusable launch technologies as well as to NASA, to encourage cooperation between these two centers of leadership in space, to include cost-sharing and potentially, if appropriate from a mission requirement standpoint, co-development. There is too much at stake not to leverage these two centers of space engineering excellence.
Current high policy is unsettled and reflects differing visions concerning space and security. Our policy makers need to get their act together when it comes to determining how this nation should proceed in space. We have some fundamental questions to ask ourselves. Why not use space to deliver the combat punch we require? Why limit ourselves to terrestrial-based options to deliver force from one continent to another when, conceivably, space-based systems may introduce operational advantages that could outperform land-, sea-, or air-based options? Our leaders have accepted the idea of power projection across long distances for more than forty years. Why not explore the feasibility of doing long-range, stand-off, rapid, and precise non-nuclear force application from space? Until we resolve these questions, until we level out our policy and make it clear what we as a country are committed over the long-term to expanding our exploitation of the space medium in ways that enhance security, officials responsible for acquisition in the Air Force will be understandably reluctant to commit resources to the space area and hesitate to put the strength of an entire organization behind reusable launcher development efforts. Such a commitment will be required if we are to make true progress in this area.
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Mr. Chairman, the United States has committed significant energy and resources to space operations, ensuring the country's growing dependence on reliable and unrestricted access to Earth's orbits. Given its global dimensions, and given our national interests, space is the one environment where we can least afford to be surprised. It is also an environment that, I believe, we can least afford not to exploit.
Thank you. I look forward to answering any questions you may have.
BIOGRAPHY FOR STEVEN J. LAMBAKIS
Dr. Steven Lambakis is a national security and international affairs analyst specializing in space power and policy studies.
Since joining National Institute for Public Policy in 1989, Dr. Lambakis has authored reports on a range of subjects, including studies of the following: political and legal restrictions on U.S. military activities in space; national defense space policy; space control and associated doctrine; proliferating space systems and the implications for U.S. counter-proliferation policy; ballistic missile defense; missile proliferation; the future role of Special Operations Forces in U.S. military strategy; and Air force doctrine and strategic force requirements.
Dr. Lambakis' most recent book, On the Edge of Earth: The Future of American Space Power (University Press of Kentucky, 2001), examines the development of American space power and highlights critical space policy deficiencies. In 1993, he published Winston ChurchillArchitect of Peace: A Study of Statesmanship and the Cold War (Greenwood Press). He has published several articles, book reviews, and op-ed pieces in Space Policy, Policy Review, Armed Forces Journal International, Orbis, Strategic Review, U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, Defense News, Space News, Comparative Strategy, The Claremont Review of Books, and The Washington Times.
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Dr. Lambakis was educated in the fields of international politics, with special emphasis on arms control and intelligence issues, American government, and U.S. foreign policy at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois (B.A., 1982) and the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. (M.A., 1984, and Ph.D., 1990).
National Institute for Public Policy, 3031 Javier Road, Suite 300, Fairfax, Virginia 22031; 7036980563; firstname.lastname@example.org
Chairman ROHRABACHER. Thank you very much. I remind you of the challenge that Mr. Gordon has made. It iswhat things are high on the priority list that you would cut in order to support this project, if that is what youit is a challenge, I think, that we allwe advocate programs. We have got to be able to say why they are more important than the other program that wouldthat you would want to get money from. So reminding our witnesses that.
Our next witness is Peter Huessy, who is the President of PRH & Company, a defense consulting firm. He is also a Senior Defense Associate at the National Defense University Foundation, where his areas of specialty include missile defense, space, and terrorism issues. And, Mr. Huessy, you may proceed.
STATEMENT OF PETER R. HUESSY, PRESIDENT, PRH & COMPANY, POTOMAC, MARYLAND; SENIOR DEFENSE ASSOCIATE, NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION, FORT MCNAIR, D.C.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUESSY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and, members of the Committee. What I would like to do is briefly summarize my testimony and I have a tape of a Air Force project that one of your colleagues, Curt Weldon, and Senator Stephens were kind enough to get us funding for, that demonstrated the ability to hit deeply buried hardened targets, which a space plane could be extraordinarily useful in doing.
Early this year at the university, we had a conference in April sponsored by the Air Force and Space Command on exactly this subject. And if you notice the QDR mentions this in some detail and the Air Force Combat Commander's Conference in Germany in May discussed the same issue. And 14 years ago, a commission called the Commission on Integrated Deterrence recommended just such a capability. Members of the Commission were Albert Wolstetter, Henry Kissinger, and Freddy Clay, for example.
So you are very right in the chart in the back, Mr. Chairman, of your Committee handout where it talks about having long-range precision strikes with conventional weapons through space is something that is very much needed, and the space plane could very much help us in that regard.
Let me go back when I was on the Hill here over in the Senate during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing with Former Chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff David Jones. And they were talking, ironically, about rogue states, in this case, Libya. And, in this case, its chemical weapons facilities, which, at that time, were perceived to have been buried fairly deep underground. And they asked the Chairman what would you do in a crisis if you had to go after those facilities? And his comment to Senator Stennis, the Chairman of the Committee, was, well, Mr. Chairman, I would keep him on the phone for 30 minutes.
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Now, I think the implication of what he was saying was that 30 minutes is the time it would take an ICBM or an SLBM to be launched to get him, and that basically was saying ambiguously and in implication only, or implicitly, that that is the only threat we had at the time to go after such facilities.
If you remember, Secretary of Defense William Perry was asked almost exactly the same question during a press conference. I think it was 1995, if I am not mistaken. While his answer was ambiguous, some of the press reports the next day said that the only way the United States could hold those targets at risk were through nuclear weapon. The Defense Department, I think, in the next day said, in so many words, no, that is not necessarily true, but they didn't say what it was they would use to hold at risk those targets.
And so I think that when you look at the events of September 11 and the various press reports that these terrorist organizations and their rogue state sponsors are seeking to get weapons of mass destruction. The question then is, it becomes critical in a crisis to take these things out quickly.
Now, it is true that if you are in theater, if you are already forward deployed, if you have bases, you have a better opportunity than if you are not. But one of the things, I think, we ought to look at that a military space plane can very much do, along with a common air vehicle, is to provide the United States with the capability to quickly attack these time-urgent targets and whatever rogue states that may appear.
And many of these targets, as you know, will be buried and they will be hardened from attack, and some of the facilities will be mobile. The book recently by one of Saddam Hussein's defectors, who was one of the supposed builders of his nuclear devices, says that they move around the nuclear devicesdevice fairly frequently. And the question is, if you can find it and get it quickly, I think that would be certainly very important.
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Now, one of the things we did at the university is, we had a conference, as I said, along with the Counter Proliferation Center, which was headed, at the time, by Bob Joseph, who is now the President's Advisor on the National Security Council for Homeland Defense and Counter Proliferation. And I also want to emphasize that one of the things we had most of our stark nuclear negotiators at this conference in the university is this is not a substitute for nuclear deterrence. I want to emphasize that very strongly.
Finally, on page 3 of my testimony, I go through some of the advantages. And let me just say, would such a deployment mean we are militarizing space? My interest is simply, space is a very easy medium to get a munition on a target quickly.
And some of the advantages are that some of the packages we used, for example, to go after targets in Bosnia and Kosovo and other places, the Air Force, which was a sponsor, costed them out. And the O&M costs alone in going after like a target set of four, was something like $69 million, taking 88 planes, including the attack planes and the support planes. Now, I am not advocating getting rid of these planes in order to build this. We have to understand that during the 1990's, if you take in the 1993 defense budget for procurement and kept it flat for 8 years and then compared to that what we spent, we cut $280 billion out of the procurement budget of the Department of Defense. So it is awful hard that when we are thinking of adding money back in, and I sympathize with your problem, when you add money back in, the problem is we have cut so much, that cutting something else out is difficult. And I am just being candid with you.
And I think that the cost of this particular element, what the Chairman has been concerned about, would pay such enormous dividends in the future that it would maybe not pay for itself. But certainly, if you could cut the cost of launching satellites in space, let alone getting munitions up there, you would dramatically save.
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Now, finally, what I wanted to do is just have your audiovisual people to show you this tape. It is only 2 minutes long. It shows the two experiments we did out at White Sands. I want to emphasize, Mr. Chairman, that White Sands being what it is, this was launched off a rocket. You could launch it off a space plane without any problem. This just happens to bewe had to make this test fit White Sands. And so the rocket goes up about 90 miles. The projectile is contained in a casing front end, and it hits the ground going about 4,000 feet per second. And the only thing driving it is kinetic energy and gravity.
And the second test, which is after this, we got the speeds up, my understanding is somewhere in the near 7,000 feet per second. And this is the projectile. It isthis is White Sands. And the rocket here, I believeI am not sure whether it is a Pegasus or what it is. I will get that for you for the record. You canwelcome to keep the tape.
But, as I said, this goes about 90 miles in the air and then the projectile just flops off in a 90-degree angle and then goes back to earth. And what this was designed to demonstrate is how far could you go through solid granite and go into a target, a cavern, target of some kind, a deeply buried hardened target? This goes through 31 feet of solid granite without an explosive. It is pure kinetic energy.
What you are seeing here is an animation. You will see momentarily the actual projectile. There is the actual projectile going to earth. And this is the White Sands base. Now, it is interesting that it went through 31 feet of solid granite and then we went out and dug it out. Now, the projectile now sits out at Colorado Springs at the desk of one of the majors who ran the program. You will see it coming out of the tunnel momentarily. It had a ding in the front end.
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There is the projectile. There is the front of it. And, as you can see, there is debris around it, but little misshapen, but all it was, was a depleted uranium shell. And, as I said, it went through 31 feet of granite at about 4,000 feet per second. I would like to drop a few of those on Osama, but we don't have any currently in the inventory. And it was accurate within 9.8 feet or to about 10 feet.
This is real simply just the second test. That was in 1995. This is 1998. As I said, the money for these tests was kindly added by Congress. It was in the small millions, single digits. And this is the last test we have done of this. And you will just see the explosion and that will be the end of the tape. The good thing about this is they never know it is coming. And, as I said, that went in excess, I believe, of about 60 feet of solid granite.
So, yeah, and without anythe explosion you see there is pure kinetic energy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Huessy follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF PETER R. HUESSY
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee:
I am delighted to testify before you today on the issue of Space Planes and X-Vehicles. I am appearing as President of PRH&CO, my own defense consulting company. My views are my own and do not reflect any of my affiliations. I believe this hearing is particularly timely, in that the just completed QDR discusses these issues in some detail. Particularly the ability of the U.S. to strike targets quickly and with precision. I will also discuss the operational concepts of a space plane, as well as the benefits and implications of such a deployment. And I also will briefly address the issue of whether such a deployment would ''militarize'' space, as is popularly charged.
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KEEP HIM ON THE PHONE
Let me begin with an event 20 years ago. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General David Jones, was testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The issue: chemical and biological weapons in the hands of terrorist and rogue states, specifically Libya. Senator Stennis asked what General Jones would recommend the U.S. do if a cbw deployment became apparent in Libya, but where such weapons were in buried and hardened bunkers. I will never forget his chilling response: ''Keep Quaddafi on the phone for 30 minutes''.
Just a few years ago, Secretary of Defense Perry was asked nearly the same question during a Pentagon press conference. His response, though ambiguous, implied that any U.S. attack on such Libyan facilities would probably have to use nuclear weapons. While the Department issued a further clarification the next day saying such was not the case, the questions surrounding such a target go to the heart of this hearing today.
We have been warned for some time that rogue states and the murderers they harbor are seeking both ballistic missiles and the components of weapons of mass destruction. The act of war against the U.S. on September 11th reminds us of how real such threats are.
A military space plane is one element, although a key one, to provide the U.S. with the capability to quickly attack key, time urgent targets, in whatever rogue states they may appear. Many of these targets will be buried and hardened from attack. Some of the facilities may very well be mobile, such as the nuclear facilities described by a number of Iraqi defectors.
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Independent DOD studies have repeatedly identified the need for such a capability and the absence of any current programs to get us there. Part of the problem has been that while NASA wants a low cost, reliable and manned space plane, DOD wants quick response, global reach, and an unmanned force application, requirements that are divergent.
MILITARY SPACE PLANE-OPERATIONAL CONCEPTS
Operationally, a military space plane, (MSP), is envisioned to provide rapid global presence and space access that would complement, not replace, other land, sea and aerospace forces. The MSP's primary component would be the Space Operations Vehicle or SOV, a reusable launch vehicle concept that would get the plane to orbit. Other components could be a Space Maneuver Vehicle, a Modular Insertion Stage, an Orbital Transfer Vehicle and a Common Aero Vehicle.
My particular interest is being able to use space through which a munition could quickly and accurately travel to attack a critical target of grave concern to the US. The USAF, the NDU Center for Counter Proliferation and the National Defense University Foundation held just such a conference in April 2001, examining how to go after weapons of mass destruction in rogue states quickly and accurately. In particular, we reviewed a USAF test of a projectile travelling at some 4000 feet per second and penetrating through some 30 feet of solid granite. Further study indicates speeds of 7000ft/second are possible with the capability to penetrate some 70 feet of a hardened target.
We concluded that a space plane, a common aero vehicle, even a conventional ballistic missile, would be very useful in defeating such deadly threats. The threats have repeatedly been identified. Targeting needs have been identified.
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ADVANTAGES AND BENEFITS
Now the advantages of such a capability are manifold. The U.S. may have neither the time nor the forward basing to attack such targets, especially if we have to operate from CONUS given our current capabilities, particularly in light of anti-access strategies of our adversaries. The media has been quick to suggest cruise missile strikes at nearly every opportunity as the best means for the U.S. to attack key targets, but deeply buried and hardened targets do not lend themselves to such capabilities.
Critics are quick to suggest that operating from or through space is somehow ''militarizing space''. Would they rather we deploy attack munitions only by sea, an attack that would take days, depending on where the U.S. Navy is deployed and where the target is? Even airpower takes an extended time to get in-theater.
Our Navy is deployed worldwide to guarantee freedom of the seas to merchant shipping. 16 key seaports worldwide handle some 80% of all ocean going commerce. Does anyone believe protecting this critically important economic lifeline is somehow ''militarizing the oceans''?
Heavily defended targets, deep-in-country targets, hard and deeply buried facilities, wind targets and time-sensitive targets all must be taken out to deny an adversary's ability to prosecute a conflict or prevent the U.S. and its allies from combating aggression of whatever kind. Whether delivered by a space plane or other technology, it is of critical importance that we get such a capability. A Military Space Plane, a Hypersonic cruise vehicle, a Space Operations Vehicle, a Space Based Platform, an Air Launched Global Strike System, and a Directed Energy Strike System, in part or together could form a systems of systems approach to this problem. The technologies are critical to avoid escalation of a crisis and to quickly prevent an adversary from coercing neighboring countries.
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BIOGRAPHY FOR PETER R. HUESSY
President of PRH & Company, a Potomac, Maryland-based defense and national security consulting business. 1981Present.
Senior Defense Associate at the National Defense University Foundation, Fort McNair, DC. 1993Present.
Senior Defense Associate, Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, 19831993.
Director of Legislative and Congressional Relations, Office of Surface Mining, U.S. Department of the Interior, 198081.
Director of Government Affairs, The Environmental Fund 19761980.
Legislative Assistant, Senator Mike Gravel, Senator William Proxmire and Senator Gaylord Nelson, 1970, 1971 and 19756.
Research Assistant, United Nations Environment Program.
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B.S. Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin
Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, 196970
Columbia University School of International Affairs and School of Law
Mr. Huessy can be reached at 2026852208 at NDUF or 3019830287 at PRHCO, or at email@example.com
Chairman ROHRABACHER. Very impressive. Thank you. Our next witness is Mitchell Burnside Clapp, who is an Aerospace Engineer and Former Air Force Officer. He is CEO of Pioneer Rocket Company. Nice to see you again, and you may proceed, Mitch.
STATEMENT OF MITCHELL BURNSIDE CLAPP, AEROSPACE ENGINEER AND FORMER AIR FORCE OFFICER; CEO, PIONEER ROCKET COMPANY
Mr. CLAPP. Well, I would like to talk a little bit about the X37 specifically. I think it is a program that stands a tolerably decent chance of giving a significant benefit to future space systems. It is advocated usually as a test bed for advanced technologies, but that is not what it is good for.
It isthe critical need we face is a lack of experience in operating reusable systems that travel in space, travel through space, and travel to space. There is no particular technology, the lack of which impedes our progress in this area. It is the lack of a platform, I think, that can be used to develop operational experience that unnecessarily restricts our development in this area.
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I would like to offer a couple of examples from the recent past. Thein 1993 we had a program called DCX. And by any reasonable standard, the performance of that vehicle was profoundly unimpressive. Earlier in the year, I was one of the three people trained to fly that vehicle, along with Lloyd P. Cotta, and a fellow named Tom Ingersoll. And earlier in the same year that I was trained to fly the DCX, I flew a Tiger Moth, a DeHavilland Tiger Moth, and I went higher, farther, faster, less gas, stayed up longer, in a biplane.
Performance wasn't the point. The DCX was the first rocket-powered vehicle that was designed with operations in mind. Unlike the 10,000 or so people necessary to operate the Space Shuttle or the hundreds needed for an expendable launch vehicle, the DCX took about two dozen. The higher performance of the shuttle certainly requires a few extra hands turning wrenches and so forth, but it is hard to believe that the additional 9,998 souls are all really necessary.
Another examplethe aircraft carrier is a great example of the critical importance of operational practice on actual utility, as opposed to any particular technology. Some of the landing systems are sophisticated technology, like the ACLS, the automatic carrier landing system, but the steam catapult is technology that the Victorians would have understood perfectly.
The thing that makes an aircraft carrier a combat effective weapon is not the technology of the aircraft or the ship. It is the years of operational procedure and experience developed beginning after World War I. Everybody on a carrier deck is in a high-reliability organization. They know where to stand, what color shirt to wear, whom to listen to, which hand to pick up what tooleverything to keep those airplanes coming off the deck every 1 hour and 45 minutes.
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We don't have anything like that in space systems yet. What we have are systems that are sold as technology test beds without a clear rationale for which technologies are applied to which systems. New technologies can be powerfully enhancing, no doubt about it. But without operational experience to inform which technologies are most critical to enhance utility, we are going about the problem far less systematically than we could be.
X37 has been described, and I am quoting from Marshall Space Flight Center's fact sheet here, as a ''reusable launch vehicle,'' and a test bed for advanced launch vehicle technologies. It isn't. X37 is the first serious attempt at a reusable satellite and it needs to be understood and appreciated in that sense.
Satellites are just as expendable as launch vehicles and they cost a lot more on a per-pound basis. For some commercial satellite operations, even like a very technologically mature GEO comsat, it still consumes about 50 percent of the budget for the satellite vehicle itself, the launch taking up the other 50 percent.
For LEO comsats, the costs are far higher. As an aside, and I think is the principle reason that none of the reusable launch vehicle countries of which we may actually be the last one still standing, were successful in capturing the teledesic winter launch marketis because the proportion of cost of such a program taken up by launch is under 15 percent. It is all going into the satellite vehicle and the establishment of service. So the maximum credible discount you could offer these people is less than the uncertainty in their other cost areas. So there is no compelling reason for them to switch to you. Hindsight is 20/20.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC X37 is an attempt at a reusable satellite. It permits the designer of the cargo to concentrate on the optics, the sensors, the things that the satellite designer calls the payload, not what the launch vehicle guy calls the payload. It has only got 1,200 pounds of payload, but that is exclusive of the batteries and the structure and the things that you need to run the actual stuff that does useful work.
DARPA and other agencies are now looking at other programs to make satellites modular and reconfigure them with an X37-like vehicle. One can do that on the ground. The idea of a space architecture that is based on reusable satellites, which can be stored on the ground, deployed on demand, upgraded with cargoes that are specific to the mission needs or so forth, offers enormous savings in cost and the provision of entirely new capabilities that don't exist today. It is like having your aircraft carrier moored permanently off the shore of a potential adversary versus sailing it there in time of crisis.
Even if reusable launch vehicles take another 20 years to become a reality, and I certainly hope that they do not, because I am not sure I can keep all the balls in the air, fight any rocket plane for that length of time, the X37 can allow a near-term demonstration of an architecture that applies to them. Already, war games and modeling and simulation exercises have attempted to incorporate X37 like systems, but we can't incorporate them into planning until there is a baseline of experience with reasonable satellite systems that provide that real-world input. It is like the cavalry troop applying the Gatling gun or the battleship navy applying the aircraft carrier.
Discussion of which technologies go into an X37 are really beside the point. Yeah. Thermal protection systems are great. We could use better ones. We can test them on the shuttle too. The point is not so much that we have any particular magic bullet technology that we need to have in order to make it all work, but that we don't have designs that apply and integrate the technology that we do have. It is not the shoes, it is the choreography.
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[The prepared statement of Mr. Clapp follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MITCHELL BURNSIDE CLAPP
The X37 is a program that stands a decent chance of providing a significant benefit to future space systems. Although it is frequently advocated as a test bed for advanced technologies, this is not its principal utility. In my view, the critical need we face is a lack of experience in operating reusable systems that travel in space, to space, and through space. There is no particular technology the lack of which makes a capability for routine in space operations unrealistic. Rather, it is the lack of a platform that can be used to develop operational experience that unnecessarily restricts the development of capabilities in this area. X37 is exactly that kind of operational testbed.
Some examples from the recent past are instructive. Consider in 1993 the example of the DCX. By any reasonable standard the performance of the vehicle was totally unimpressive. Earlier in the year during which I was trained to fly the DCX from a trailer three miles away, I flew a DeHavilland Tiger Moth, designed during the 1920s, and I went higher, farther, faster, and on less gas. Performance, however, wasn't the point. DCX was the first rocket powered vehicle that was designed with operations in mind. Unlike the ten thousand or so people necessary to operate the shuttle or the several hundred needed for an expendable launch vehicle, the DCX only took about two dozen. The higher performance of the shuttle certainly requires a few more people to look after some of the systems, but it's hard to believe that the additional 9,988 souls are all necessary.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Farther back, the aircraft carrier is a good example of the critical importance of operational practice on actual utility as opposed to technological sophistication. Nothing on an aircraft carrier is especially sophisticated technologically, except some of the landing systems such as ACLS. The steam catapult is technology that the Victorians would have understood perfectly. The thing that makes an aircraft carrier a combat effective weapon is not the technology of the aircraft or the ship, but the years of operational procedure and experience, developed beginning after World War I. Every person on a carrier deck knows where to stand, what color shirt to wear, whom to listen to, which hand to pick up what tooleverything to keep each aircraft coming off that deck every one hour and 45 minutes.
We don't have anything like that in space systems yet. Indeed, what we have instead is systems that are sold as ''technology testbeds'' without a clear cut rationale for which technologies are applied to which systems. Newer technologies can be powerfully enhancing, but without operational experience to inform which technologies are most critical to enhance utility, we're going about the problem far less systematically than we could be.
X37 has been described, and I'm quoting from Marshall Space Flight Center's fact sheet here, as ''a reusable launch vehicle,'' and a testbed for advanced launch vehicle technologies. It isn't. X37 is the first serious attempt at a reusable satellite and needs to be understood and appreciated in that sense.
Currently, satellites are just as expendable as launch vehicles, and they cost far more than launch vehicles on a per-pound basis. For commercial satellite operations, even a very technologically mature GEO communications satellite still consumes about fifty percent of the total program costs. For LEO communications satellites in constellations, the costs are far higher. As an asidethis is in my view the principal reason that the LEO comsat programs of a few years ago didn't spur development of a large number of new launch vehicles. The proportion of total program cost consumed by satellite launch is about 15% for a LEO comsat program. The maximum credible savings a company like Pioneer Rocketplane could offer is less than the uncertainty in the other cost elements.
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So X37 is an attempt at a reusable satellite. It permits the designer of the cargo to concentrate on the optics, sensors, or details of what a satellite designer calls the payload, not what the launch vehicle provider calls the payload, and leaves the provision of electrical power, cooling, a pointing system, and so on to the X37. The cargo carried by the X37 is unimpressivepossibly twelve hundred pounds, but this is twelve hundred pounds exclusive of the support systems, which the X37 provides. It's equivalent to a free flying satellite of perhaps 5,000 pounds total mass. And because that twelve hundred pounds can be recovered, changed, upgraded, and so forth, there is an opportunity to demonstrate a great degree of flexibility.
DARPA and other agencies now are working on programs to be able to make satellites modular and reconfigure them after they are in orbit. X37 offers the possibility of being able to do that on the ground, where labor is more affordable and problems can be worked out more easily.
The idea of a space architecture based on reusable satellites, which can be stored on the ground, deployed on demand, upgraded with cargos that are specific to the mission needs, and so on, offers not only enormous savings in cost, but also the provision of entirely new capabilities that don't exist today. A military analogy is mooring an aircraft carrier off the shores of a potential adversary rather than deploying the carrier when the need arises. If the ship is off shore all the time, the opponent will react, but if the situation is more uncertain, the opponent's planning is much more complicated.
Even if reusable launch vehicles take another twenty years to become a reality, the X37 can allow a near term demonstration of an architecture that applies to them. Already, war games and military modeling and simulation exercises have attempted to incorporate systems like X37. But we can't really incorporate the modeling and simulation results into planning until there is a baseline of experience with reusable satellite systems that can provide a real world input and correction to those results, any more than a cavalry troop can apply the Gatling gun or a battleship navy can apply the aircraft carrier effectively.
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The discussion of which technologies are to be demonstrated in the X37, like thermal protection or automatic landing, are really not that relevant to the discussion of why such a system needs to be explored. The problem is not that we don't have any particular magic bullet technology, but that we don't have designs that apply and integrate the technology we do have. It's not the shoes, it's the choreography. I'm sure we'll learn many valuable things about maintaining thermal protection systems from the X37 but we could do that on the Space Shuttle, too. I'm equally sure that we'll learn things from the cargoes carried by the X37 that will be of military, commercial, and civil utility and may even help out in a crisis the way that the still-developmental JSTARS system did during Desert Storm. The idea of a real world system like the X37 isn't that it gives you the opportunity to test, but that it gives you the opportunity to debug. And that's why it's a program worth supporting.
Chairman ROHRABACHER. I missed that last phrase.
Mr. CLAPP. Choreography? How you arrange the dance rather than what you wear on your feet. Okay.
Chairman ROHRABACHER. Thank you very much. Our final witness is Ambassador Henry Cooper, the Chairman of the High Frontier and Applied Research Associates, and he is a Visiting Fellow to the Heritage Foundation and a Former Strategic Defense Initiative Director in 1990 to 1993. Ambassador Cooper was appointed by Ronald Reagan as Chief U.S. Negotiator at the Geneva Defense and Space Talks with the Former Soviet Union. We welcome you, Mr. Ambassador, and you may proceed.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR HENRY F. COOPER, CHAIRMAN OF HIGH FRONTIER AND APPLIED RESEARCH ASSOCIATES; VISITING FELLOW TO THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION, AND A FORMER STRATEGIC DEFENSE INITIATIVE DIRECTOR, 19901993
Ambassador COOPER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Gordon. I appreciate the opportunity to share my views on the need for a viable science and technology program to build space planes, particularly for military applications, which is my main interest.
I strongly support developing reusable launch capabilities that are a prerequisite for sound space plane development, and I am greatly troubled by the slow development pace of the past 8 years. I hope the Pentagon's new organization for military space will take seriously the role of space planes in the full gamut of military space activities, from supporting our terrestrial forces to applying force in and from space. If a logical space plane development progression is followed, suborbital reusable launch technology will be proven first and can beand can substantially enhance our rapid reconnaissance and force application capabilities.
Rapid development is possible, but requires innovative development methods unlike the government's usual formal acquisition process. My written testimony gives examples of the Pentagon's wasteful processes from my SDI experience, and I believe NASA is no better.
I much prefer a build, test, grow approach to rapid development, like that used by General Schriever and Admiral Rayburn in developing our first land-based and sea-based intercontinental ballistic missiles in the 1950's, or by Kelly Johnson of Lockheed Skunkworks fame, who built the U2 and the SR71 in record time, and more recently the F117s; or by the SDI program I led in planning to develop a single-stage-to-orbit through that three-step process that I will describe more in a moment. And that is the build, test, grow.
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First, I would like to recall that High Frontier's founder, General Danny Graham, was persuaded in 1989 that the technology was then sufficiently mature to embark on developing an SSTO capability, and he took the idea to Vice President Dan Quayle, who, in turn, requested that the SDI Organization undertake a serious development program.
They chose the SDIO because, as General Graham wrote in his memoirs, they expected that either the Air Force or NASA, ''would stifle our baby in the crib.'' And that is a quote. NASA, because it threatened shuttle prolongation, and the Air Force because it threatened its next expendable rocket program. They were right then, and I suspect their view of both NASA and the institutional Air Force is still correct.
And regrettably, the Pentagon's current missile defense leadership has lost the vision of space defense programs in general, and, in particularly, why developing a reusable launch capability would pay them big dividends.
But my predecessor, General George Monahan, thought it was a good idea from an SDI perspective, as did I. After screening competition among five contractors, all of whom agreed that the SSTO idea was feasible, McDonald Douglas was awarded a $60 million contract in August 1991 to fly the reusable launch vehicle from the first of a three-phase development program. They delivered brilliantly, slightly late, but within budget.
The three phases or stages of this build, test, grow approach were, one, prove with a sub-sonic vehicle that the usual space logistics support requirements can be dramatically reduced for reusable launch operations. Secondly, using these reduced logistics support procedures and near-term technology, prove with a supersonic, sub-orbital reusable launch vehicle that SDI targets can be inexpensively launched to support planned ballistic missile defense testing requirements. And, third, using the savings generated by the more cost effective target launching, improve the technology base for lightweight structures, high-performance engines, reentry thermal protection, systems integration, and so on, to support a truly versatile SSTO vehicle and demonstrate its advantages for both missile defense and other military space missions.
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As I noted above, the small government industry teams successfully completed Phase 1 by repeatedly flying the DCX, renamed the Clipper Graham by NASA Administrator Dan Goldin, to honor General Graham's vision in initiating the SSTO effort. Dr. Goldin also gave Danny Graham NASA's highest award for the DCX or Clipper Graham as CNN carried worldwide video of its vertical take-off, rise, hover, high angle of attack flight, and vertical landing, all commanded by Astronaut Pete Conrad, aided by two others. Pete said he could manage all the ground and flight operations by himself from a single console. Pause and think about that.
Regrettably, the Clipper Graham had a procedural landing gear failure after its 12th successful flight and burned, but not before successfully completing Phase 1 of the build, test, grow strategy. Even more regrettable was that the Clinton Administration completely lost the vision in its deliberate efforts to destroy all remnants of the SDI program, taking the stars out of Star Wars, as Defense Secretary Les Aspin said.
Even Congress's efforts to sustain Pentagon innovative follow-on, space plane science and technology efforts were frustrated by Pentagon resistance, including in the Air Force, which aided and abetted what was then politically correct. For example, by transferring the reusable launch responsibility to NASA. And NASA's more standard, and much more expensive, acquisition approach has produced regrettably little.
I still believe that the three-phase approach we adopted was correct and can and should be restarted in the Pentagon. The right organization, with priority, streamlined management, and 100 to $200 million a year, can complete the Phase 2 in 3 years with a supersonic, sub-orbital reusable single-stage vehicle that could pay for the development costs with the savings from launching targets for missile defense tests. Other applications would include rapid reconnaissance or long-range weapon delivery.
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As noted in my testimony, individuals in private industry are seeking venture capital to build this kind of capability for even less to provide an inexpensive wide-area sensing platform, and they claim they need only a customer to succeed. Someone in the government should consider this option.
Mr. Chairman, 10 years ago, the technology was sufficiently mature to undertake serious development of a reusable launch capability, setting the stage for the space plane. We made the initial investment and had a brilliant success with the Clipper Graham. Then we lost our way, or, more accurately, the Clinton Administration diverted the intended path of that build, test, grow program. In my judgment, it should be reinstated and supported with a national priority. The only question is where in the bureaucracy can be trusted to stay the course. Wherever it is placed, Mr. Chairman, I urge you to exercise close oversight over this important program to assure that the vision is preserved. Thank you, sir.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Cooper follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF HENRY F. COOPER
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to provide my views on need and current plans to develop commercial, civil, and military space planes and the role of the Department of Defense (DoD) and NASA X-vehicles for flight experiments to demonstrate those capabilities.
As you requested, I will seek to shed light on three questions: 1) How have past Administrations supported DoD and NASA space plane programs? 2) Should DoD and NASA work together on developing space planes, and if so, how? 3) How much R&D has been invested and how much should the U.S. invest annually in space plane development?
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Before addressing those assigned questions, I want the Committee to understand several points, which strongly influence my answers.
First, I have not been following closely recent events in the on-going saga of efforts to develop space planes by either the DoD or NASA. So my perspective is biased by my experiences that are eight years oldexperiences that date to my watch as Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) during the first Bush Administration.
Second, my prejudices lean toward assuring that the nation exploits space for military applications, and, in that context, toward assuring that the DoD institutes the right kinds of science and technology programs to support the nation's future national security needs, all under the right management structure for military space programs. In that regard, I support the recommendations of last year's Space Commission chaired by now Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.
I would add that I favor a separate service to ''acquire, train and equip'' the nation's space forcesas soon as there is a critical mass of senior military leadership sufficiently trained and dedicated to support fully exploiting spacenot only as a force multiplier, but as a medium in which and from which force can be applied to serve the security interests of the United States.
Space planes should play an obvious, central role in such a Space Force. Consequently, I am most concerned that the appropriate innovative DoD science and technology programs be fosteredespecially in the context of the pending reorganization to manage the Department's space activities.
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My third point, in that regard, is that I am very critical of the standard system development/acquisition process in DoD and, I suspect, in NASA as well. Far too much bureaucracy is involved in ''managing'' and/or ''overseeing'' system development to permit significant innovation.
For example, during my watch as SDI Director, I had my staff keep track of the cost and time spent in running the oversight gauntlet for THAAD during the last six months of 1991, during which we underwent a Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) management review, the THAAD Milestone I DAB, and a baseline DAB review (which was canceled). We and our contractor agents spent about 75,000 government labor hours, over 250,000 contractor hours, and over $22 million on creating over a ton of supporting documents, providing briefings and attending meetings seeking to reach consensus with three staff levels to address, and invariably readdress, over 900 proposed issues often with conflicting programmatic changes (sometimes within the same office). Even to gain agreement on how we were going to manage the program, we held over 50 meetings with 35 overseeing offices and their staffs prior to the DAB to approve the consensus, at a cost of over $7 millionnot to mention the wasted time of our technical staff which could have better spent its time managing an admittedly volatile program.
In my judgment, this is a very undesirable way to manage the development of new capabilities, such as would be required to build space planes.
My fourth point is that it is far more preferable to give authority and resources to a small technically qualified team, with minimum oversight, to pursue an approach that takes existing or near-term technology, tests and proves a useful capability, fills-in technology as needed and available, and then improves that capabilitywhile, of course, maintaining a vision of the desired final objective. Some have called this approach, ''Build a little, test a little.'' I call it, ''Build, Test, Grow.''
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This ''build, test, grow approach'' is not a novel idea. It was the approach to developing our original land-based and submarine launched intercontinental ballistic missiles in the 1950s. It was the approach followed by a small technically qualified SDI team in conducting the highly successful Delta 180, 181, and 183 programs of the 1980s. It was followed in the Brilliant Pebbles Space-Based Interceptor program on the late-1980s through my watch, until the Clinton Administration canceled it in 1993 for political reasons. (NASA Administrator Dan Goldin, while at TRW and responsible for TRW's Brilliant Pebbles development and testing, told me that the small government team provided the best managed program of his experience up to that time.) The same management approach was followed in the award-winning 1994 Clementine mission, which space-qualified Brilliant Pebbles sensors and software in surveying the entire Moon's surface in 15 spectral bands and discovering water at South Pole. Clementine was the pathfinder for the ''faster, better, cheaper'' approach to space exploration championed by NASA Administrator Goldin.
DCX/Delta Clipper/Clipper Graham Experience
With these thoughts in mind, I'd like to review the history of the DCX or Clipper Graham. High Frontier's Founder, retired Army Lieutenant General Daniel O. Graham, describes in his memoirs (Confessions of a Cold Warrior, Preview Press, Fairfax, VA, 1995, pp. 201211) his role in initiating a ''Single Stage To Orbit,'' or SSTO, Program in early 1989.
A viable, reusable, SSTO capability promised to reduce launch costs by over an order of magnitude by permitting launch, recovery, re-launch operations similar to the way aircraft are rapidly cycled through ground operations. Aside from reducing the launch support infrastructure by two orders of magnitude, other key technical challenges included having sufficiently lightweight structural materials, high performance engines, effective reusable reentry thermal protection, and overall system integration.
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After being persuaded by several eminent scientists and engineers that technology was sufficiently mature to initiate a demonstration program, General Graham took the idea to Vice President Dan Quayle, then Chairman of the Space Council, and the Vice President requested that the SDI Organization (SDIO) initiate such a demonstration program.
The SDIO was chosen, wrote General Graham, because it was expected that both NASA and the Air Force ''would stifle our baby in its crib. In NASA it would be viewed as a threat to the hoped-for prolongation of the Shuttle program; in the Air Force it would be viewed as a threat to the hoped for Advanced Launch System (ALS), a follow on expendable rocket system.''
My predecessor as SDI Director, Lt. General George Monahan, saw the potential merits of the SSTO in supporting SDI requirements and happily supported itas did I. Indeed, a reusable sub-orbital vehicle could be very cost effective in launching targets for SDI tests, as later studies showedjustifying reusable sub-orbital vehicles as the first stage of the ''build, test, grow'' approach mentioned above.
By the time I became SDI Director in mid-1990, a streamlined management office, consisting of a technically competent Air Force Major and SETA support (less than 12 total), had initiated a screening competition among five contractors, all of whom agreed that the SSTO was feasible. In August 1991, McDonald Douglas was awarded a $60 million contract to build and fly in 18 months a sub-sonic quarter scale reusable vehicle called DCX or Delta Clipper.
To aid in advocating the DCX in the Pentagon budget battles, I directed that the program focus on launching targets for SDI testsan economic study demonstrated that a substantial DCX and follow-on reusable sub-orbital launch development program could be paid for many times over by a few successful target launches in planned SDI tests. (Test failures because of target launch failures were then costing SDI substantial money, time and political support.)
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Thus was a 'build, test, grow'' approach adopted: 1) Prove with a sub-sonic vehicle that logistics support requirements can be dramatically reduced for reusable launch operations; 2) Using the reduced logistics support procedures and near-term technology, prove with a supersonic, sub-orbital vehicle that SDI targets can be inexpensively launched (about a tenth of conventional launch costs per test) to support planned ballistic missile defense testing requirements; 3) Using the savings generated by the more cost effective target launching, improve the technology base for lightweight structures, high performance engines, reentry thermal protection, systems integration, etc. to support a truly versatile SSTO vehicle and demonstrate its advantages for missile defense and other military space missions.
The first phase, the DCX program, came in slightly late (first successful flight in August 1993) but within budget and was widely acclaimed among space enthusiasts. Former Astronaut Pete Conrad, assisted by a Deputy and a Ground System Controller, was the operations manager for the 12 successful DCX flights (vertical take-off, hover, lateral maneuver(s), vertical landing). Pete claimed he could manage operations by himself. Compare this with the dozens of ground personnel in the usual mission control center that would be used by NASA's X33or to launch the usual expendables. Compare the DCX program management with that for the X33: DCX critical reviews involved about a dozen experts; the X33 Critical Design Review involved over 600 people. McDonald Douglas' DCX contract team involved 2030 people vs. hundreds, perhaps thousands, on the X33 team.
In 1996, NASA Administrator Dan Goldin gave General Graham NASA's highest award for his early role in championing the SSTO idea and renamed the DCX the Clipper Graham. After an additional flight or two, the Clipper Graham regrettably had a procedural landing gear failure (due to a technician's error after completing it's 12th successful flight) and burned.
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After the first successful DCX flight in 1993, Pentagon advocates proposed Phase 2 of the ''build, test, grow'' strategy, a follow-on three year program using essentially off-the-shelf technology to build and test a sub-orbital Mach 12 vehicle, called the SX2, to provide a missile defense target launch capability and to be a stepping-stone to a SSTO vehicle (Phase 3). This follow-on initiative was enthusiastically supported by Congress, but the Clinton Administration, including the new management for ballistic missile defense, was hostile to the idea, canceled the follow-on program in 1994, transferred the reusable launch mission to NASA in 1995 and, in 1997, used its transitory line item veto to kill the remnant DoD space plane program that Congress continued to support via directives to the DoD and additional appropriations.
In spite of the lack of Pentagon support for reusable launch, including for sub-orbital capabilities, it should be understood that the foundation of the Clipper Graham was soundly laid and still can be built upon. Launching targets for missile defense testing could still be done much more cheaply by a reusable sub-orbital launch capability based on existing technology than by continuing the standard practice of expendable launchese.g., at less than 10 percent the cost according to industrial advocates who are currently seeking venture capital to build and demonstrate reusable launch capability and to sell services.
For example, Dr. Patrick Balm, the President of TGV Rockets, Inc., says that he has an investor who will provide the necessary venture capital to make his development program viable if there are customers who will simply commit to buy $10 million worth of services if the venture capital funded development pans out. It seems to me that the government should take a close look at this possibility. By the way, Dr. Balm is not seeking a government contract to develop his MICHELLE reusable launch vehicle because he distrusts government program managementin both the DoD and at NASA. I am sympathetic with Dr. Balm's apprehension.
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Dr. Bill Gaubatz, who led the Clipper Graham program at McDonald Douglas and now heads Space Available, LLC, also is seeking venture capital for developing such capabilities, so Dr. Balm is not alone in seeking the means to continue such development in the private sector.
Maybe the private sector is the path to success. Neither the legacy of the DOD's successful Clipper Graham effort nor NASA's X33 stall-out is encouraging.
Lessons From the Delta Graham Experience
As is often the case with efforts at innovation, the tale recounted above suggests that, because of political and bureaucratic forces, ''No good deed goes unpunished.''
The lack of consistent advocacy for military space activities during the past decade was influenced by the political agenda of the Clinton Administrationbest illustrated by President Clinton's September 1997 line item veto of Congressional funding initiatives for an ASAT, the Clementine follow-on and the military space plane.
But the Air Force has not been a serious advocate for military space programs eitherotherwise it would not have supported transferring the reusable launch mission to NASA, an organization little responsiveness to supporting innovative military space programs. It remains to be seen whether Secretary Rumsfeld's military space management initiative, which makes the Air Force the Pentagon's executive agent for military space, will make a serious difference.
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Now, let me answer more directly your questions, Mr. Chairman.
1) How have past Administrations supported DoD and NASA space plane programs?
''I believe the Reagan-Bush Clipper Graham experience is the right approach to develop the needed technology for a military space plane: ''build, test, grow'' via a streamlined qualified government management team with $100200 million investments annually rather than continuing NASA's billion dollar X33 approach using the standard government acquisition process.''
A lot of blame for this failure can be laid at the feet of President Clinton and his Administration for his line-item veto of Military Space Plane, which contributed significantly to the Air Force's cowardice on the issueas did the earlier Air Force/Clinton Administration decision to give NASA the ''lead'' for developing Reusable Launch Vehicle technologies. The Air Force Space & Missile Center apparently interpreted this ''guidance/policy'' to mean that the Air Force was not going to participate in RLV technology work at all.
NASA's selection of the technologically over-optimistic Lockheed X33 concept can also be squarely laid at the feet of the Clinton Administration. The subcommittee should also note that tens of millions authorized and appropriated for military space planes in the 90s was often diverted for other purposes. I understand the NASA historian has written a very interesting paper on this subject, and suggest you may want to review it.
2) Should DoD and NASA get together to develop space planes? If so, how?
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''I think not, because NASA has a different agenda than the DoD'sand developing a military space plane is important to future U.S. national security. They might coordinate on common technology, I suppose.''
NASA's priorities are substantially different from the DoD's. Examples abound in the experience of the last 20 years with NASP, early versions of EELV, X33, X37 and other programs. In each case, NASA has subordinated DoD requirements to its own. I believe Congress and the Administration should give DoD the clear lead on reusable rockets. NASA should participate in a supporting role with respect to technology. The DoD should ''build, test and grow'' a military space plane capability, beginning with sub-orbital missions.
I believe reusable launch of targets for missile defense testing would be highly cost effective. Other ''air'' reusable rocket launch missions include replacements/supplements for sub-orbital aircraft missions (i.e., the long-range short-notice highly survivable reconnaissance mission abandoned when we retired the SR71 and the long-range strike mission conducted by the B2 in Allied Force and Enduring Freedom). A reusable rocket launch capability arguably would be less expensive and less technically challenging than reusable rockets for spacelift, space control and all of the other ''orbit required'' missions.
We should, therefore, concentrate on revolutionizing our ability to do the easier (air) missions first. This incremental ''build, test, grow'' approach is less demanding technically, responsive to immediate national security requirements, and provides a foundation for revolutionizing our ability to do the things that DOD and NASA need to do in orbit.
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3) How much R&D has been invested in space planes and how much should the U.S. invest annually?
''I understand that the U.S. has invested about $4 billion in the 70s, 80s and 90s (on such programs as Have Region, Copper Canyon, NASP, DCX, MSP, X33, X37/40), not counting Shuttle development and operationsand the residue of our total investment is four aging Shuttles, one crashed vehicle, a hangar queen, some drop-test articles and static displays. I believe the DoD should support a viable, robust ''build, test, grow'' reusable launch program for about $100200 million a yearmanaged by a small competent technical team with incentives to produce. We do not have such an organization today.''
Any single organization able to focus on what reusable space planes would mean for U.S. national security would certainly have spent that $413 in a much more useful way. Under the SDI program defined on my watch, we should have been flying reusable sub-orbital missions by the late 1990sand we should now be pressing toward demonstrating an SSTO capability, funded largely by the savings in providing targets of the Pentagon's missile defense test programs.
Unfortunately, DoD is currently an organization of fiefdoms with competing bureaucratic interests that are an impediment to progress. BMDO seems uninterested as far as I can tell, in spite of the clear benefits to its centerpiece test programs. DARPA has a piece of reusable rocket researchas does the Air Force. Within the Air Force, the air labs fight with the space labs for money and programmatic leadershipwhether the Pentagon's military space reorganization will improve this situation remains to be seen.
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A program without a clear goal will absorb any amount of money that can be authorized and appropriated. The goal for an effective program should be a flying vehicle with specific technical capabilities clearly leading to operational capabilitiesand as I have emphasized, I strongly favor the ''build, test, grow approach'' to development.
DARPA and the Department were able to do this with Predator and Global Hawka similar model could be pursued for sub-orbital and space operations vehicles. Alternatively, the Secretary of Defense could establish a high-level program office with national prioritysomething like SDIOor the old Polaris and Atlas programs. Perhaps, such an office could be part of the initiatives undertaken as part of the Pentagon's new military space reorganization now being undertaken. This office should be given 23 years to produce a flying sub-orbital vehicle.
Wherever it is placed, this program office should be structured as the SDIO program office was for the DCX/Clipper Grahama small, dedicated experienced team of DoD and contractor personnel, embarked on a build, test, grow mission to ultimately build space planes for a future U.S. Space Force.
In this way, the U.S will get revolutionary new capabilities to enhance our national securityand industry will get revolutionary new products that will give the United States enormous advantages that are as unforeseen now as intercontinental air travel was in 1901.
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Mr. Chairman, ten years ago, the technology was sufficiently mature to undertake serious development of a reusable launch capability, setting the stage for a military space plane. We made the initial investment and had a brilliant success with the Clipper Graham. Then we lost our waymore accurately, the Clinton Administration diverted the intended path of that ''build, test, grow'' program. It should be reinstated and supported with a national prioritythe only question is where in the bureaucracy can be trusted to stay the course. Wherever it is placed, Mr. Chairman, I urge you to exercise close oversight of this important program to assure the vision is preserved.
BIOGRAPHY FOR HENRY F. COOPER
Ambassador Henry F. (Hank) Cooper is Chairman of High Frontier, Chairman of Applied Research Associates, Senior Associate of the National Institute for Public Policy, Visiting Fellow to the Heritage Foundation, and a private consultant.
In 1990, President George Bush appointed Ambassador Cooper as the first civilian Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) Director, a post he held until 1993. He redirected SDI away from defending against a massive attack from the former Soviet Union to protecting the U.S. homeland and overseas troops, friends and allies from limited attacka refocusing he had recommended to Defense Secretary Dick Cheney in an early 1990 independent review in the context of the then crumbling Soviet empire.
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC President Ronald Reagan appointed Ambassador Cooper as Deputy and then Chief U.S. Negotiator at the Geneva Defense and Space Talks with the former Soviet Union (19851989). Between 1983 and 1985, he served as Assistant Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, where he was responsible for backstopping all bilateral U.S. negotiations with the former Soviet Union and where he chaired the Assistant Secretary-level interagency group responsible for developing U.S. space arms control policy. Between 1979 and 1982, he served as Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Research and Development, with oversight responsibility for Air Force strategic and space systems. Early in his career, Ambassador Cooper was Scientific Advisor to the Air Force Weapons Laboratory (196772) and served as an U.S. Air Force Lieutenant (196467).
Ambassador Cooper's previous private sector experience includes service as Senior Vice President of JAYCOR (1990), Deputy Director of the Nuclear Effects Division of R&D Associates (198283), member of the technical staff/program manager at R&D Associates (197279) and at Bell Telephone Laboratories (196064), and Instructor of Engineering Mechanics at Clemson University (195860). He has chaired or served on numerous senior technical and advisory boardsincluding the Defense Science Board, the Air Force Science Advisory Board, U.S. Strategic Command's Strategic Advisory Group, and the Defense Nuclear Agency's Scientific Advisory Group on Effects. In 1997, the Speaker of the House and the President appointed him to a commission to assess the U.S. government's organization and programs to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Ambassador Cooper, who holds B.S. (1958) and M.S. (1960) degrees from Clemson and a Ph.D. from New York University (1964), is a nationally recognized expert on nuclear weapons effects, strategic systems, national security policy and arms control matters. He is author of over one hundred publications on these subjects, is a member of numerous related professional organizations, and is listed in Who's Who in America. A member of McLean Presbyterian Church, he is married with three children and eight grandchildren.
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Chairman ROHRABACHER. Thank you very much. And we will now proceed to questions. One thing the Chairman would like to noteand that is meso I would like to note itthatyou know, I always hate it when people refer to themselves in the third person. You know, it is justand a lot of people up here do that. Let me just state thisI think that there are many civilian, as well as military applications to this technology. And I am really interested today in making sure that we draw those connections and that we focus on what we canby developing a civilian or military model, what else we can accomplish on the otherin the other half of the arena.
For example, it is my belief that developing a space maneuvering vehicle that we can create a robust satellite repair business. And, of course, we realize that in a situation like today, where we have a satellite over a particular country, looking for a particular person or whatever we are looking for in that country, that satellite might go out. Having the ability to fix a military satellite is just as important to our national security as perhaps the ability to fix commercial satellites would be to our commercial position in space. And I wonder if I could have our guests, one at a time, just maybe comment on that thought.
Mr. LAMBAKIS. Sir, I think the potential applications for this technology are many and even unpredictable in the area of logistics and space support and, of course, combat. We have no way of knowing exactly how far we could go and how many different ways we can apply this technology. One of the things I like to think of is how the motorized vehicle back earlier this century sort of displaced the horse and buggy andwhich, and, of course, led to the development of roads, because people could get to different places a little bitthey could go a little bit farther. They could get there a little bit faster.
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And eventually, we had the development of an interstate highway system. This would have been unthinkable, you know, two generations, or even a generation before that happened. And so I think we just need to be aware that there are many other types of support activities and logistical activities, including satellite repair, that will be open to us once this technology is made practical for us.
Mr. HUESSY. Congressman, I agree 100 percent with what you have said. I would also add to that replenishing satellites, and not onlynot just replacing them, but if they get shot downif they are destroyed by an adversary. You can then not only replace them and replenish them, you can change what they do. And I agree 100 percent that that not only has military applications, but certainly commercial applications. And that if the two can be found to work with each other and share costs or technologies, I am for it. I doin my testimony, I do mention some of the problems. But I am absolutely in favor of what you have just said.
Mr. CLAPP. Imagine a world full of reusable satellites like what the X37 has. Now, as the designer of a communications satellite constellation, such as Iridium, I know that I have 1,200 pounds to spend on my payload, my real payload, the transmitters and responders, so that I can exploit my spectrum.
Suppose, instead, of designing an entire satellite bus and paying a fortune to launch that satellite bus into orbit, rather what I do is I lease space on a reusable satellite, knowing that it is going to be up in orbit for a year or 2 years, and then brought back down, and maybeand during that time I have gotten new technology in mythat I can use to exploit my spectrum, which is my real asset in my businessmy license, better.
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You can have reusable satellites swarming over the earth and you don't know if any of them is looking or listening or transmitting or receiving or has a object of military interest to drop on someone that needs an object dropped on him. You know, the idea is that in addition to being robust in a defense point of view, there is also some real commercial advantages allowing the organizations that own spectrum, which is a critically limited resource, to exploit that more effectively and to lease the space on reusable satellites.
So I think that, you know, the commercial possibilities and possibilities for commercial crossover, there is a reliable usable satellite technology developedwell, that is probably my next business.
Ambassador COOPER. Mr. Chairman, I agree with the vision for replaceable satellites or reusable satellites that is being discussed here. The main thrust of what I am trying to say is, I think there is an intermediate step that it is logical to progress through. And I am in favor of the build, test, and grow approach, because I like to have hardware flown. I like to demonstrate things for affordable prices on a path that gets us to that vision thing.
And, frankly, just imagine the in-between step is between the DCX or the Clipper Graham as a supersonic, but not sufficiently adequate speed to go to orbit vehicle that couldsince we go straight up, as an elevator, carry sensors, and look at the earth below it. If you look at the cost of accomplishing that kind of mission with essentially off-the-shelf technology and comparing what you might achieve, in terms of product, with what would be achieved from low-earth orbit observation satellites, I think you will find that a dramatic savings are possible.
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And in the meantime you develop this next step beyond the step that proved that you can reduce the logistics support with the reusable launch capability earlier. I believe that is the logical next step. It would have the commercial interest, I believe, for the reasons I said. And, in my view, it could also save considerable amount of money in launching targets for the many missile defense tests that are planned over the coming years for less than expendables cost on the military side.
Low Cost Space Access for an SMV
Chairman ROHRABACHER. Just two more quick points and we will go to Mr. Gordon. This concept of having a space maneuvering vehiclefor example, we heard the example of the roads, how roads were developed because other technology was developed with gasoline engine for automobiles. But we couldfor example, I would foresee that insurance rates for satellite launches would actually go down. Thus, we would have more investment in different type of satellites because one would realize if something happened to the satellite once it was in orbit, that wouldn't be 100 or a $200 million loss. That would be something that perhaps could be repaired or retrieved. And we don't have that capability today, except through a $500 million flight of the Space Shuttle, which is, of course, prohibitive.
One other aspect andis this. That if we have a military space plane that we develop, and we have it there. Okay. There is awhat dohow do we lift it? And, of course, there are people who are designing it to go on the Space Shuttle. But it can also be designed to make sure that it can fit on any other type of cheap transportation system. In other words, we may well, by developing athe space maneuvering vehicle or military space plane, challenge those in the private sectorokay, find us the cheapest way to get that into orbit and we are going to go with you.
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And I just, for example, talked to a rocket company today that claimed that they could launch the military space plane, as we envision it, for $10 million, for a $10 million price tag. That is a pretty good price tag. We are going to go up, and we are in a battlefield situation, if it is a military situation or if we are needing to go to repair a satellite, a $100 million satellite, a $10 million price tag for afor the expendable part of the system would be good. And maybewho knows, maybe we can spur on other development.
So I believe the space plane itself willis justified, but it will also lead to the technologies that will pay for it. Now, I still believe that Mr. Gordon's point, central point is valid. That we have dreams, a better way ofwe have good technologies and better technologies, but unless we are going to just throw responsibility to the wind, we need to set it on a priority list. And I noticed again that nobody took you up on your challenge, but if they don't do it in this round, I am going to take you up in the next round. So go right ahead, Mr. Gordon.
SMV Development and Cost Issues
Mr. GORDON. Chairmanship. Let me first ask the panel, how long do you think that it is going to take to develop a military space plane, and what expense would that be? Is theredo we develop some kind of consensus here? Somebody just give it a shot and we will just see.
Mr. LAMBAKIS. I don't think we can
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GORDON. Seem to have a man or no
Mr. LAMBAKIS. I am not sure we can say that, sir. That is why I am sort of advocating that we need to go along on several different development fronts here, because perhaps we don't know which technological approach is the better approach right now. But it is important, I believe, to pursue it, for the reasons that I stated.
Mr. GORDON. But without even knowing what it is going to cost, not even getting close to an estimate?
Mr. LAMBAKIS. I believe the prioritythe placement on a priority list is determined by our commitment and dedication to the use of space and the importance of the use of space for this country. And I don't have an exact ranking for you. But I think it would certainlyI think we need to look at that larger context.
Mr. GORDON. Well, let me ask Mr. Cooper. Do you have an estimate of how long it would take to develop and what it would cost?
Ambassador COOPER. No, not specifically. But, again, you know, I want to come back to the recipe I am offering you or suggesting to you, which is that we do what we can do with near-term technologies with confidence, and that includes the sub-orbital, supersonicand I would be interested if others on the Panel would disagree with thislaunch capability, which would, I believe, by the savings involved, at least in the Department of Defense, serve as a basis for continued investment in those critical technologies we have to get over before you have a single-stage-to-orbit, or even a two-stage-to-orbit capability that we have confidence in.
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Mr. GORDON. Well, now, earlier you heard me mention that the Secretary of the Air Force was quoted thus, ''We have concluded that any additional military utility that could be gained by completing the X33 and X37 flight program, does not warrant the cost to the Air Force.'' So I mean, we are sort of telling them whatI guess, what we think is good for them. Butand I am sure they would like to have it, but apparently give it a lower priority. So, again, what would you try to cut out tofor reprioritization?
Ambassador COOPER. Within the defense budgetare you going to let me manage this within the defense budget or are you going to put it in NASA? Because, in my mind, there is a big difference. NASA hasdoesis not particularly driven by the requirements that I think the Air Force considers.
Mr. GORDON. If you are looking for money, you are going to find more money in the military budget than you are in NASA's budget.
Ambassador COOPER. I understand that. And, frankly, I believe the Air Force has got enough money in its budget to do the kinds of things that I believe are the next step
Mr. GORDON. But they don't seem to think so.
Ambassador COOPER. I understand that.
Mr. GORDON. So what would be your recommendationjust work it out?
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Ambassador COOPER. Well, as I said, the key issue here is what organizational structure you put in place to make this happen. It could be in DARPA. It could be as a part of the new military space organization that is being created by the Air Force, presumably to address this issue that the institutional Air Force really has not taken the military space concerns
Mr. GORDON. Well, regardless of who you put in charge or how you
Ambassador COOPER. Well
Mr. GORDON [continuing]. Move the chairs around, you are still going to have to spend some money. And you don't even know how much it is, but I assume it is going to be quite a bit.
Ambassador COOPER. Well, I told you my recipe was on the order of a 100 to $200 million a year is what I think of. And within 3 years
Mr. GORDON. For about how many years?
Ambassador COOPER. Within 3 years, I believe that we should have a supersoniccould have a supersonic reusable launch capability that would accomplish meaningful tasks for the ballistic missile defense organization, for the Air Force, as a training vehicle, that could have a
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Mr. GORDON. Well, then what you reprioritize within that budget for that money?
Reprioritizing the Air Force Budget
Ambassador COOPER. Well, Mr. Gordon, I really am not sitting overseeing the Air Force budget. I have done that in years past.
Mr. GORDON. Uh-huh.
Ambassador COOPER. But I am not doing it now
Mr. GORDON. Well, I guess what I am
Mr. HUESSY. Congressman, could I
Ambassador COOPER [continuing]. And I couldn't make that judgment.
Mr. HUESSY. Could I interject
Mr. GORDON. Well, I just want to put it in this context. You know, we have folks come before us all the time and say, if you would spend more money in education
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Ambassador COOPER. Right.
Mr. GORDON [continuing]. Then it would return a dividend. For every dollar you spend, we are going to get back 1.10 or .20. If you will spend more money in health, in researchand they are probably, you know, correct on many of those cases. But you still have to have a budget. And so we have toif it is going to get a return of a 1.10 on a dollar, maybe something else gets a return of 1.08. I don't know. You know, youbut we have to have these priorities.
Mr. HUESSY. Let me answer the question. I think toone of the Air Force's concerns was that thewhen they werewhen that comment was made, the out-year budgets looked pretty lean. They are already short considerable amounts of money given the requirements the Department of Defense and OSD have given them. They can't pay the bills that they currently were charged with.
Since that time, we have had not only additions in the '01 for supplemental, we have an '02 plus up of about 18.4 billion on top of the President's modified budget that came in, which was the baseline plus basically inflation. And it appears that some additional funds may be coming in, in let us say, an '02 supplemental. I think that changes the picture to some degree. But
Mr. GORDON. But what you have to keep in mind, even with this significant amount of additional funds going into
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUESSY. Right.
Mr. GORDON [continuing]. Military budget, this Administration still hasn't asked for this.
Mr. HUESSY. I understand.
Mr. GORDON. They still don't think it is that much of a priority.
Consideration of Other Funding Sources
Mr. HUESSY. I understand. In the Chief of Staffs unfunded priority list there is a related item. I don't remember exactly what it is. I think it was number 37. But let me get to your questions. I am a native Vermonter. There is a milk compact up in Vermont you could get rid of. In 1965, when we passed the War on Poverty, I didn't remember anybody projecting that this thing would cost us, in today's dollars, $7 trillion and have an impact on the poverty rate of about 1.2 percent. Okay. I remember being on the Hill when issues like Medicare were projected to cost $9 billion by the year 1980, when, in fact, it cost $99 billion.
Mr. GORDON. So are you saying
Mr. HUESSY. I am not opposed to Medicare, but
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GORDON. Yeah. But
Mr. HUESSY [continuing]. I am saying that we have gotten ourselves into spending
Mr. GORDON. Yeah.
Mr. HUESSY [continuing]. Programs that dwarf what we want to spend in this program when
Mr. GORDON. So here you have got a situation where you won't even tell us what it is going to cost, how long it is going to take
Mr. HUESSY. I think Ambassador
Mr. GORDON [continuing]. And you are criticizing
Mr. HUESSY. No.
Mr. GORDON [continuing]. Other programs. I mean, it sounds like you are
Mr. HUESSY. I am saying, if you want to find the money, I told you a couple of places you could find the money. Second of all, I think Hank's projection of what you could spend over the next 3 years is reasonable. One thing with the space vehicle is you have toa space plane, you have to have a space operations vehicle to get you up there. And then the question is, what are you going to put on the space plane? Are you going to put satellites in orbit? Are you going to fix satellites? Are you going to have a common air vehicle from which to launch projectiles to have a military capability?
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I mean, it is like saying to the Wright Brothers, you know, we have people in this country that if they had been at Kitty Hawk, the headline in the New York Times would have read, ''Airline Industry Suffers Grievous DamageWright Brothers Fail to Reach Los Angeles.'' And, believe it or not, that was the comment in a lot of the press, and a lot of the comments at the time was that Kitty Hawk was a failure.
Mr. GORDON. Well, let me justyou know, with
Mr. HUESSY. And I am saying this
Mr. GORDON. With the dairy compact, I guess the worst thing that has happened there is that we have more milk for kids and others.
Mr. HUESSY. At a price of about
Mr. GORDON. Itand ifyeah.
Mr. HUESSY.20 cents more per gallon.
Mr. GORDON. And if this doesn't work out, then we will have spent a lot of money for nothing. And you can't tell us what it is going to cost, how long it is going to take. At least, with the dairy compact, we know what we are getting, and we are getting it.
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUESSY. My guess is if you talk about 100 to $200 million a year, each year, for about 3 years, you couldthe military and the commercial folks would knowI mean, first you have got to figure out can you do a common air vehicle to put this thing into space. And if you just put a space plane into space, what about other things? And what role does the commercial sector, private industry play? Then you could determine whether or not what potentials. I mean, it is no more than
Mr. GORDON. Well, my recommendation
Mr. HUESSY [continuing]. No more than the Wright Brothers could have told you
Mr. GORDON. Yeah.
Mr. HUESSY [continuing]. What a 747 would cost. Can I tell you what a military space plane and a common air vehicle and an ability to deliver precision-guided munitions around the world would cost? I am not asking you to commit to beyond 3 years.
Mr. GORDON. So are you part of the blank check?
Mr. HUESSY. I would do it for a couple of years and put a cap on the 3 years.
Mr. GORDON. How many years have they been doing it already?
Page 77 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUESSY. Igo ahead.
Private Sector SMV Investment
Mr. CLAPP. The Air Force hasn't actually been pursuing this in a serious way. I am not sure the Air Force is the right organization for a program of this character. I think you ought to at least consider doing it in DARPA. There is a long track record of success there for a lot of the different advanced technology programs.
In terms of how much it would cost and how long it is going to be, my company is currently developing, and will fly by the end of '03, a vehicle of the same general character as that that Ambassador Cooper describes. It will be supersonic. It will go just barely into space, about 100 kilometers total altitude. It will hit that at about 6,000 feet per second, roughly mach 6, take off and land on turbo fan engines. Has a propellant mass fraction of about 50 percent, which is not especially impressive. And our bids from subcontractors total about $25 million for the entire program front to back.
Mr. GORDON. Well, if it can do all of that, then why doesn't the private sector invest in it?
Mr. CLAPP. What is the market for the private sector? Indeed, the private sector is investing in it, and that is why we are going to build it. I am not here with my hand out. The point being, if you want to do something here with thein the military budget to exploit the military capabilities of a system of this general characterand is the system that we are developing ideal for that? No, not at all. You know, we are going after somewhat different things.
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But platforms that can go real high and real fast and do, you know, real sorts of things, can be developed for tens of millions
Mr. GORDON. Well, that
Mr. CLAPP [continuing]. Of dollars for
Mr. GORDON. Well, that might be a good approach, and just let the private sector go forward with this and see ifand if it is
Mr. CLAPP. And there
Mr. GORDON. And if it is a positive result, then maybe this Administration will request the money.
Mr. CLAPP. Maybe. I think there are places you can go in the Air Force budget to look for it. If the Air Force is going to go get serious about reusable launch vehicles, I think it undermines the case for EELV somewhat. That is a very high-cost program for relatively modest savings, it seems to me.
Now, I realize that the sky is going to open up and big military thunderbolts are going to come down and burn my reserve commission right out of my backside for that. But I think it ought to
Page 79 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GORDON. Mr. Cooper, did you have something you wanted to add?
Government Commitment to an SMV Program
Ambassador COOPER. Yeah. I wanted to add the thoughtyou know, I have managed a multi-billion dollar program. It wouldn't have been a problem for me as the director of such a program to have found the money for this. And, as a matter of fact, had I
Mr. GORDON. If you thought it was worthwhile.
Ambassador COOPER. I already told you I thought it was
Mr. GORDON. But apparently the military and
Ambassador COOPER. No.
Mr. GORDON [continuing]. This Administration doesn't think it is worthwhile.
Ambassador COOPER. Well, I tried to express in my testimony to you, both written and here earlier, that the program that was on its path to this was put inside of the SDI Organization because the Vice President and Danny Graham, who was the guy motivating him, didn't believe either the Air Force or NASA would pursue this program seriously.
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And I can tell you that the SDI program certainly did. It was dropped after our watch. Had I been there in '93, and we had the results that occurred in DCXI forget the word you usedmaybe unimpressive to airplane pilotsbut the important thing was the logistics support, and it got a lot of people's attentionwe would have been on the path to the next step, and I would have found the money for that out of my 4-plus billion dollar budget. Because I could see how to save money in the out years and in SDI testing by launching targets. And that alone. I didn't need any other justification. I had our guys go through
Mr. GORDON. Well, why don't you share
Ambassador COOPER [continuing]. An economics analysis
Mr. GORDON. You should share that information with this Administration
Ambassador COOPER. Well
Mr. GORDON [continuing]. And you could maybe show them how they could it better and then maybe they will request this.
Ambassador COOPER. I would certainly be happy to do that. All they got to do is dig out the economic analysis that was done 8 years ago, 9 years ago, that justified it to our comptroller at that time who was wondering why we were investing in such things. The comptroller now, by the way, is the Deputy OMB Director. So maybe he remembers.
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There arethe money is not the issue here, and that is the reason I am hanging on to the microphone for a moment. The issue is whether or not you are going to have a sponsor who cares about this issue at a policy level and whether or not you build an organization that is technically competent to manage the activity, which isn't a big, massive defense acquisition board in the Department of Defenseand I don't know what they call it in NASAwith legends of overseers.
Chairman ROHRABACHER. Well, thank you very much for that stimulating discussion. And just tonow, the Chairman must rise to the occasion. He must suggest that there are solutions. So I will proceed and do just that. And I agree that the milk compact and the sugar subsidy and all the other crop subsidy programs, which go to usually big corporations, I might add, were notwhen they weren't meant to go to big corporations, theybut they do, you know, and we know that now.
Mr. HUESSY. Mr. Chairman, I have to say, I have a sister who wrote those laws as a staff member of Senator Leahy's ad committee for 9 years. So I mean, that is where a lot of my knowledge of this comes from and I
Chairman ROHRABACHER. So you have got milk, all right.
Mr. HUESSY. With my plenty of billions of dollars in those programs.
Making the Hard Choices
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Chairman ROHRABACHER. So and I sympathize with that analysis, but I also sympathize with the fact that we have a budget process. So we will look at the Department of Defense or NASAwhat would weI read about a new mortar program that they have got for the Department of Defense.
Or you canyou know, the mortars, you knowyou know, andI mean, if this isn't old think, I don't know what is old think. Let us make the mortar go an extra mile and a half, and they are going to spend $18 billion to give everybody a new mortar that fires automatically. But, of course, this new mortar now is so heavy that you have got to transport it on a truck. Right? So how about let us get rid of the mortar and do a military space plane?
Or we have got two new jet fighters being proposed. At a time when we realize that space is really the high ground now. You know, up in the air is no longer the high ground. If we are going to plan 20 years out, we are not going to plan for what is the high ground now. You plan for what is high ground in the future. The high ground of the future isn't where the airplanes are flying right now. It is above there where you can shoot down and you can make sure you control that ground.
It seems to me that a military space plane or a space maneuvering vehicle is more important than one of those two new fighter aircraft. Sorry. I know that some companies actually produce both of these projectsthat I might be stepping on somebody's toes while actually fulfilling athis mission of trying to find ways of financing this project.
But there are ways of getting the money, and I agree with the Ambassador. And it is a matter of looking through the budget and finding these things. But we do, to be responsible, and Imy hat is off to Mr. Gordonis that to be responsible, we have got to prioritize. And if we are unwilling to prioritize, we are only willing to be generalists in how we will get the money, but really be a people who specialize in specificity when it comes to how to spend it, we are not doing our job. And those would be my suggestions and I think those are possible suggestions.
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And in the meantime, in NASA, I will just say thisif we wanted to get the money out of NASA, in terms of developing a space maneuvering vehicle that would be there for commercial application, I believe that that money should comeof course, you all know thiswe will take it right out of any future manned mission to Mars project. And it makes more sense to me to be developing our capabilities, utilize space around this planet, than it would be to spending money on a mission to Mars that may or may not be able to be successful 20 or 30 years down the road. And that is what I would take the money from if I had power, and which I don't, because we are in a consensus. We all have to work together and find what a consensus is. But those would be my suggestions.
I believe this project is vital to our national security. There have been several military sort of electronic games which, for lack of a better description, in which some of the players in those military games have told me that in the end, it was only America's military space planes that enabled the United States to win out over a potential adversary 10 years down the road.
And I can't go into great detail on this classified information. But the fact is that that is frightening to think that one weapon system that gave us this ability to maneuver in space and to put ourselves in different places in orbit around a potential enemy, gave us the only leverage that permitted us to win with a particular adversary.
So these are very seriousthese are very serious issues. And keeping our spy satellites, for example, in the future, where our spy satellites might be put out in a situation like this that we are in today, a spy satellite system might be disabled or it might just wear out. There might be something that happened to it over a battlefield situation just as we are having today. If we had a military space plane that could, within a matter of hours, reach that satellite and either replace it or fix it, it would give us tremendous backup to those people who now are putting their lives on the line.
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And so I see this as a valuable asset to American, both militarily and both commercially. And I hope that we could consider it. But I hope, as Mr. Gordon is suggesting, that we do so being responsible, in a responsible budget process and not just talk about spending, but talk about prioritizing as well.
Mr. Gordon, would you like to say anything else? With that said, pleased be advised that Subcommittee members may request additional information for the record. And I would ask other members who are going to submit written questions to do so within 1 week of the date of this hearing. And that concludes this hearing. It is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:15 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
(Footnote 1 return)
Boeing also had been working with the Air Force to develop a Space Maneuver Vehicle, or X40A, as part of a ''military space plane'' program for which Congress had added $10 million and $20 million in the DoD budget in FY1998 and FY1999 budget, respectively. Most recently, the X40A activities have been merged with the X37, where NASA, the Air Force, and Boeing share the cost of the program evenly.