Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee field hearing scheduled for Wednesday, February 18, at 9:30 a.m. CST. The hearing will be located at the Nassau Bay City Hall, 1800 NASA Parkway, Nassau Bay, Texas 77054. Members will hear testimony on President Bush’s recent proposal to return astronauts to the Moon and to expand human space exploration to Mars. Senator Brownback will preside.
The Honorable John Cornyn
The Honorable Tom DeLay
Witness Panel 1
Mr. William F. Readdy
Mr. Chairman, thank you for this opportunity to join you in the beautiful state of Texas to discuss the President’s vision for U.S. Space Exploration and NASA’s plans for implementing this vision. I am accompanied today by two of my NASA colleagues, Dr. Mary Kicza, Associate Administrator for Biological and Physical Research, and Retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Craig Steidle, Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems. On January 14th, the President visited NASA Headquarters and announced his Vision for U.S. Space Exploration. In his address, the President presented a vision that is bold and forward-thinking, yet practical and responsible – one that explores answers to longstanding questions of importance to science and society and will develop revolutionary technologies and capabilities for the future, while maintaining good stewardship of taxpayer dollars. The vision forms the basis of the new U.S. space exploration policy, “A Renewed Spirit of Discovery,” a copy of which is appended to this testimony as Enclosure 1. This policy is the product of months of extensive and careful deliberation. The importance of these deliberations increased with the findings of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, which emphasized the importance of setting clear, long-term goals for the Nation’s human space flight program. Inputs from Members of this Committee and other Members of Congress informed the Administration’s deliberations. Many others contributed ideas for the future of the space program. These deliberations were also the basis for formulating the President’s FY 2005 Budget request for NASA. A commission will advise NASA on specific issues for implementation of the policy’s goals within four months. Today, I will summarize the President’s FY 2005 budget request for NASA, discuss the goals set forth in the new U.S. space exploration policy, walk you through the major implementation elements and their associated budget details, explain the implications of this directive for NASA’s organization, and describe what the Nation’s future in exploration and discovery will look like in the coming years. FY 2005 Budget Summary The President’s FY 2005 Budget request for NASA is $16.244 billion, a 5.6 percent increase over FY 2004, as reflected in Enclosure 2. The NASA budget request is designed with four key goals in mind: Compelling – The budget fully supports the U.S. Vision for Space Exploration, and provides for ongoing NASA mission priorities such as Aeronautics and Earth Science. Affordable – The budget is fiscally responsible and consistent with the Administration’s goal of cutting the federal deficit in half within the next 5 years. NASA’s FY 2005 budget will increase by $1 billion over 5 years, when compared with the President’s FY 2004 plan; that is an increase of approximately 5 percent per year over each of the next 3 years and approximately 1 percent for each of the following 2 years. Achievable – The budget strategy supporting the vision will not require large balloon payments by future Congresses and Administrations. Unlike previous major civil space initiatives, this approach is intentionally flexible, with investments in sustainable exploration approaches to maintain affordability. After FY 2009, the budget projects that the exploration vision can be implemented within a NASA budget that keeps pace with inflation. Focused – The budget begins the alignment of NASA’s program structure with the exploration vision. We now have the needed compass from which to evaluate our programs and make the needed tough decisions. Vision Goals The fundamental goal of this new policy is to advance U.S. scientific, security, and economic interests through a robust space exploration program. In support of this goal, NASA will: · Implement a sustained and affordable human and robotic program to explore the Solar System and beyond; · Extend human presence across the Solar System, starting with a human return to the Moon by the year 2020, in preparation for human exploration of Mars and other destinations; · Develop the innovative technologies, knowledge, and infrastructures both to explore and to support decisions about destinations for future human exploration; and · Promote international and commercial participation in exploration to further U.S. scientific, security, and economic interests. Implementation Elements and Budget Highlights To achieve these goals, NASA will plan and implement an integrated, long-term robotic and human exploration program, structured with measurable milestones and executed on the basis of available resources, accumulated experience, and technology readiness. The policy envisions the following major implementation elements: Space Shuttle – NASA will return the Space Shuttle to flight as soon as practical, based on the recommendations of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. The budget includes $4.3 billion for the Space Shuttle, a 9 percent increase above FY 2004. Included in this total is an estimated $238 million for Return to Flight (RTF) activities in FY 2005. The RTF activities are under evaluation to confirm the estimated cost and associated out year phasing. The focus of the Space Shuttle will be finishing assembly of the International Space Station (ISS). With its job done, the Space Shuttle will be phased out when assembly of the ISS is complete, planned for the end of the decade. NASA will determine over the next year how best to address the issues associated with the safe retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet. International Space Station – NASA plans to complete assembly of the International Space Station (ISS) by the end of the decade, including those U.S. components that will ensure our capability to conduct research in support of the new U.S. space exploration goals and those planned and provided by foreign partners. The budget provides $1.9 billion for ISS assembly and operations, a 24 percent increase above FY 2004. This increase forward funds $100 million in reserves to partially restore planned near-term reserve levels following the $200 million Congressional cut to Space Station in FY 2004 and provides $140 million in new funding for transportation services to the Space Station. We will separate, to the maximum extent practical, crew and cargo transportation for both ISS and exploration missions. NASA will acquire ISS crew transport as required and cargo transportation as soon as practical and affordable. NASA envisions that commercial and/or foreign capabilities will provide these services. NASA anticipates that any adjustments in existing ISS Partner responsibilities as a result of the new U.S. space exploration policy can be accommodated within the existing ISS agreements. The ISS Multilateral Coordination Board is scheduled to meet today to begin the process of coordination within the Partnership on implications to the ISS resulting from the new policy. The Administration is also prepared to address issues associated with obtaining foreign transportation services to the Space Station, including provisions of the Iran Nonproliferation Act, but until the ISS Partnership adopts a specific implementation strategy, it is premature to identify specific issues. U.S. research activities aboard the ISS will be focused to support the new exploration goals, with an emphasis on understanding how the space environment affects astronaut health and capabilities, and on developing appropriate countermeasures to mitigate health concerns. ISS will also be vital to develop and demonstrate improved life support systems and medical care. Consistent with this focus, the budget provides $343 million, a 61 percent increase above FY 2004, for bioastronautics research to understand and mitigate risks to humans on exploration missions. Over the next year, the Biological and Physical Research Enterprise will conduct a thorough review of all research activities to ensure that they are fully aligned with and supportive of the new exploration vision. New Space Transportation Capabilities – The budget provides $428 million to begin a new Crew Exploration Vehicle, named Project Constellation, that will provide crew transport for exploration missions beyond low-Earth orbit. The current budget planning is based on formulation concept studies to be conducted in FY 2004, preliminary design activities conducted in FY 2005 and FY 2006, a System Design Review in FY 2005, and a Preliminary Design Review in FY 2006. NASA plans to develop Project Constellation in a step-by-step approach, with an initial unpiloted test flight as early as 2008, followed by tests of progressively more capable designs that provide an operational human-rated capability no later than 2014. Project Constellation may also provide transportation to the Space Station, but its design will be driven by exploration requirements. NASA does not plan to pursue new Earth-to-orbit transportation capabilities, except where necessary to support unique exploration needs, such as a heavy lift vehicle. The budget discontinues the Space Launch Initiative, although knowledge gained on the Orbital Space Plane will be transferred to Project Constellation. Lunar Exploration – NASA will undertake lunar exploration and demonstration activities to enable sustained human and robotic exploration of Mars and other destinations in the Solar System. Beginning no later than 2008, NASA plans to launch the first in a series of robotic missions to the Moon to prepare for and support human exploration activities. The budget provides $70 million for these robotic lunar test beds, increasing to $420 million by FY 2009. The policy envisions the first human expedition to the lunar surface as early as 2015, but no later than 2020. These robotic and human missions will further science and demonstrate new approaches, technologies, and systems -- including the use of space resources -- to support sustained human exploration to Mars and other destinations. Exploration of Mars – The stunning images we have received from Mars are just the beginning of future Mars exploration. NASA will enhance the ongoing search for water and evidence of life on Mars by pursuing technologies in this decade for advanced science missions to Mars in the next decade. Also starting in the next decade, NASA will launch a dedicated series of robotic missions to Mars that will demonstrate greatly enhanced robotic capabilities and enable future human exploration of the Red Planet. The budget provides $691 million for Mars Exploration, a 16 percent increase over FY 2004, and will double Mars Exploration funding by FY 2009. NASA will conduct human expeditions to Mars and other destinations beyond Earth orbit on the basis of available resources, accumulated experience, and technology readiness. Other Solar System Exploration – Over the next two decades, NASA will conduct an increasingly capable campaign of robotic exploration across the Solar System. The budget provides $1.2 billion for Solar System Exploration missions to Jupiter’s icy moons, to Saturn and its moon Titan, to asteroids and comets, and to other Solar System bodies. These missions will search for evidence of life, help us to understand the history of the Solar System, and search for resources. Extrasolar Planets – NASA will launch advanced space telescopes that will search for Earth-like planets and habitable environments around other stars. The budget includes $1.1 billion for the Astronomical Search for Origins, a 19 percent increase over FY 2004, to support Hubble Space Telescope operations, the recently launched Spitzer Space Telescope, James Webb Space Telescope development, as well as three future observatories. This funding also supports investments to extend the lifetime of the Hubble Space Telescope to the maximum extent possible without a servicing mission. Enabling Capabilities – NASA will pursue a number of key capabilities to enable sustainable human and robotic exploration across the Solar System. Among the most important of these capabilities is advanced power and propulsion, and the budget provides $438 million for Project Prometheus to develop these technologies for future robotic and human exploration missions. The budget also includes $636 million in other Human and Robotic Technology funding to pursue sustainable approaches to Solar System exploration, such as reusable and modular systems, pre-positioned propellants, space resource utilization, automated systems and robotic networks, and in-space assembly. These technologies will be demonstrated on the ground, in orbit, and on the Moon beginning in this decade and extending into the next to help inform future exploration decisions. The budget projects that funding for these Human and Robotic Technology investments will grow to $1 billion by FY 2009. The budget also includes innovative opportunities for U.S. industry, academia, and members of the public to help meet the technical challenges inherent in the new space exploration vision. The budget includes $20 million for the new Centennial Challenges program, which will establish competitions to stimulate innovation in space and aeronautical technologies that can advance the exploration vision and other NASA missions. The budget also provides $10 million for NASA to purchase launch services for its payloads from emerging launch vehicle providers. And as previously mentioned, the budget includes $140 million for Space Station transportation services. Ongoing Priorities – The budget supports the vision for space exploration, while maintaining NASA commitments in other important roles and missions. NASA continues its commitment to helping understand our changing global climate. The budget makes NASA the largest contributor to the interagency Climate Change Science Program with $100 million for the Climate Change Research Initiative. The budget includes $560 million for Earth Science research, a 7 percent increase above FY 2004, to support research on data from 80 sensors on 18 satellites currently in operation. Work also continues on Earth observation missions in development or formulation, including $141 million (a 36 percent increase from FY 2004) for the National Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project, $42 million for the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, and $240 million (a 37 percent increase from FY 2004) for missions in formulation, such as the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, Aquarius and Hydros. NASA maintains planned Aeronautics Technology investments to improve our Nation’s air system. The budget includes: $188 million, a 4 percent increase above FY 2004, for technology to reduce aircraft accidents and improve the security of our Nation’s aviation system against terrorist threats; $72 million, an 11 percent increase above FY 2004, for technology to reduce aircraft noise and improve the quality of life for residents living near airports; $209 million for technology to reduce aircraft emissions and improve environmental quality; and $154 million for technologies to increase air system capacity and reduce delays in the Nation’s airports. NASA will continue to make fundamental advances in our knowledge of the Sun and the Universe. The budget provides $746 million for Sun-Earth Connection missions, including the Solar Dynamics Observatory and the Solar-Terrestrial Relations Observatory. The budget also provides $378 million for Structure and Evolution of the Universe missions, including the Chandra X-ray Observatory and three major missions currently under development. NASA also maintains its role in science, engineering and math education. The budget includes $10 million for the newly authorized Science and Technology Scholarship program, which will help attract the Nation’s best college students to NASA science and engineering careers. The budget also provides $14 million for the NASA Explorer Schools, which seeks to attract students to mathematics and science during the critical middle school years. The Explorer Schools program is entering its third phase and will be selecting 50 new schools for a total of 150 participating schools. Management of Human Capital, Facilities and Institution – NASA has earned the distinction of being the only federal agency to earn top grades for the Human Capital and Budget and Performance Integration initiatives under the President’s Management Agenda. Congress recently passed the NASA Workforce Flexibility Act. NASA is grateful for the hard work of this Committee in shaping this legislation to provide necessary flexibilities to better manage the NASA workforce. These flexibilities will be critical to implementing the exploration vision. The budget includes $25 million in FY 2005 to begin to address critical workforce skill and aging issues. NASA ratings have also improved in the Competitive Sourcing and E-Government initiatives, resulting in more total improvements than any other agency. Although we received a disclaimed opinion on our recent audit statement, we are determined in pursuing the right path in Financial Management in bringing on a new financial system that will standardize accounting across the Agency and provide the necessary tools for improved program management. NASA remains committed to management excellence and believes it is essential to implementing the new exploration vision. The budget includes funding for critical institutional capabilities, including $77 million for the NASA Engineering Safety Center and $27 million for Independent Verification and Validation. The budget also provides $307 million, a $41 million increase versus FY 2004, for facilities maintenance. Organizing for Exploration To successfully execute the exploration vision, NASA will re-focus its organization, create new offices, align ongoing programs, experiment with new ways of doing business, and tap the great innovative and creative talents of our Nation. The President has issued an Executive Order creating a commission of private and public sector experts to advise on these issues. Former Undersecretary of Defense and Secretary of the Air Force, Pete Aldridge, is Chair of the Commission. The President has named eight other commissioners to join Mr. Aldridge. The commission will issue its report within four months of its first meeting, which is scheduled for February 11, 2004. Immediately following the President’s speech, we established an Exploration Systems Enterprise, which will have responsibility for developing the Crew Exploration Vehicle and other exploration systems and technologies. Retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Craig Steidle, former manager of the Defense Department’s Joint Strike Fighter Program, is heading this new organization. Relevant programs of the Aerospace Technology, Space Science, and Space Flight enterprises are being transferred to the Exploration Systems Enterprise. The Aerospace Technology Enterprise has been renamed the Aeronautics Enterprise to reflect its new focus. As human explorers prepare to join their robotic counterparts, coordination and integration will increase. The Exploration Systems Enterprise will work closely with the Space Science Enterprise to use the Moon to demonstrate new approaches, technologies, and systems to support sustained human exploration. NASA’s Space Science Enterprise will have responsibility for implementing early robotic testbeds on the Moon and Mars and will also demonstrate other key exploration technologies – such as advanced power, propulsion, and communications – in missions to Mars and Jupiter’s moons. NASA’s Space Science Enterprise will eventually integrate human capabilities into exploration planning for Mars and other destinations. Many other elements of the NASA organization will be focused to support this new direction. NASA’s Biological and Physical Research Enterprise will put much greater emphasis on bioastronautics research to enable the human exploration of other worlds. NASA’s Office of the Space Architect will be responsible for integrating the exploration activities of NASA’s different Enterprises and for maintaining exploration roadmaps and coordinating high-level requirements. As we move outward into the Solar System, NASA will look for innovative ideas from the private sector and academia to support activities in Earth orbit and future exploration activities beyond. Many of the technical challenges that NASA will face in the coming years will require innovative solutions. In addition to tapping creative thinking within the NASA organization, we will leverage the ideas and expertise resident in the Nation’s universities and industry. In his speech, the President directed NASA to invite other nations to share in the challenges and opportunities of this new era of exploration and discovery, and he directed us to fulfill our standing international commitments. We are discussing the impact of our vision implementation plans on the ISS with our partners, and as I have already indicated we will complete the assembly of the ISS. The President called our future course of exploration “a journey, not a race,” and other nations have reacted positively to the President’s guidance. Several have already contacted us about joining in this journey. Building on NASA’s long history and extensive and close ties with the space and research agencies of other nations, we will actively seek international partners in executing future exploration activities. NASA will also invigorate its workforce, focus its facilities, and revitalize its field centers. As exploration activities get underway, NASA anticipates planning, reviews, and changes to align and improve its infrastructure. In order to achieve the exploration vision, we will be making decisions on how to best implement new programs. While some of these necessary actions will not be easy, they are essential to achieving the goals of the overall effort before us. We urge you to consider the full context of what we will be proposing rather than any isolated, specific action. Such a perspective will allow us to move forward in implementing the vision. FY 2003 Accomplishments Much of the NASA’s future ability to achieve the new space exploration vision is predicated on NASA’s many previous accomplishments. The most visible NASA successes over the past year are the Spirit and Opportunity rovers currently on Mars. Already, the landscapes imaged by these twin rovers and their initial science returns are hinting at fundamental advances in our understanding of early environmental conditions on Mars and whether Mars was once capable of sustaining water and the development of life. However, Spirit and Opportunity are not the only recent NASA mission successes. NASA successfully launched four new Space Science missions (including the two Mars rovers), three new Earth Science missions, one new NASA communications relay satellite, and completed two Space Station deployment missions. Missions in operation have also achieved a number of notable successes, including the Stardust mission’s successful flight through the tail of Comet Wild-2, initial images from the recently launched Spitzer Space Telescope, a ten- to 100-fold improvement in Earth’s gravity map from the GRACE satellite, the most accurate maps of Earth temperatures to date from the Aqua satellite, and new insights into space weather and solar activity from Sun-Earth Connection missions. NASA exceeded or met 83 percent of its annual performance goals for FY 2003. Among these accomplishments were demonstrations of new systems to improve air traffic control and to combat aircraft icing, improvements in battery, telescope sensor, and life support technologies, fundamental advances in understanding states of matter from Space Station research, and the implementation of new remote sensing tools for tracking diseases and wild fires. The Nation’s Future in Exploration and Discovery As the President stated in his speech, we are embarking on a journey, not a race. We begin this journey of exploration and discovery knowing that many years of hard work and sustained effort will be required, yet we can look forward to achieving concrete results in the near term. The vision makes the needed decisions to secure long-term U.S. space leadership. It provides an exciting set of major milestones with human and robotic missions. It pursues compelling science and cutting-edge technologies. It invites new ideas and innovations for accomplishing this bold, new vision. And it will provide the opportunity for new generations of Americans to explore, innovate, discover and enrich our Nation in ways unimaginable today. The President’s challenging vision provides unique opportunities for engaging students across the country, “as only NASA can,” to enter careers in science, engineering, technology and math. We sincerely appreciate the forum the Subcommittee has provided today, and Dr. Kicza, Adm. Steidle and I look forward to responding to your questions.
Witness Panel 2
Mr. Charles M. Chafer
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, thank you for holding this important Senate hearing in Houston and for giving commercial space entrepreneurs the opportunity to offer their valuable perspective on how the private sector and NASA may cooperate most effectively to assist in the realization of the President’s new space policy. As a boy spending summers on my grandparents’ farm in Republic County, Kansas, during the Apollo era, I can recall looking at moonrise over their fields and wondering how I could make a contribution to what seemed to be that most important human endeavor – the exploration of space. Years later, as a young man, I was blessed with that very opportunity by being fortunate enough to land a position with David Hannah, Jr., and former Mercury and Apollo astronaut Deke Slayton at Houston, Texas-based Space Services, Inc. of America (SSI). In 1982, SSI became the first ever private company to conduct a launch into outer space – Conestoga 1. Today, I’ve devoted my career seeking to expand private-sector space activities – because success in this arena holds the key to humanity’s long-term prosperity. We simply must extend our presence throughout the solar system. May I make four observations that best describe the potential for further private-sector/NASA cooperation. First, private-sector capital is essential and is available to fulfill the emerging opportunities of new space age. At the first meeting of the President’s Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy, there was much discussion devoted to “sustainability” and to the notion that “business as usual” would not result in the early achievement of these bold new space initiatives. Simply put, significant private investment is a key element to help the President’s initiative achieve sustainability. In an era of tight Federal budgets, every private dollar invested in relevant space technology development is a dollar not required of the taxpayers. Fortunately, significant private investment capital is indeed available to support space technology development and application in areas of relevance to the new space initiative. The great genius of this country lies in the ability to mobilize capital quickly and efficiently in pursuit of real opportunities. For example, recently we have seen significant investments by successful internet entrepreneurs, including Paul Allen of Microsoft and Elon Musk, founder of PayPal, Inc., in new modes of space transportation. Team Encounter, LLC, has been able to attract significant capital from some of Houston’s leading energy, software, and real-estate developers. Generally speaking, I believe that investment capital can and will flow into space activities under the right set of circumstances. My second observation is that there are now encouraging signs within various federal agencies that private investment may be welcome. Two examples illustrate vividly this emerging reality. Recently Team Encounter was awarded a contract from NASA’s New Millennium Program to fly its Inertial Stellar Compass aboard our Flight One Mission late next year. This contract is important to commercial investors for several reasons. NASA has chosen to fly one of its experiments, as a secondary payload, on a mission that is primarily commercial in nature. We represented a “best value” proposition for NASA, and NASA represented important additional revenue and enhanced stature for us. We are risk sharing with NASA in that only upon the success of the mission are we able to collect the second half of the contract value. Finally, both NASA and Team Encounter are learning how to work together in an “imperfect” environment. By that I mean that each side has had to exhibit flexibility and accommodation in order to reach an acceptable mission profile. A second recent example extends beyond NASA to another federal agency with a significant space portfolio, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Last year NOAA published a Request for Information (RFI-NESDIS-OSD-002) seeking to understand the viability of a “data purchase” approach to providing next-generation solar-wind data from a commercially operated spacecraft. This request also contemplates a risk- and reward-sharing approach to the achievement of U.S. government space needs and, as such, is further evidence that creative people in the government and the private sector might well be able to work together to achieve common goals. The above examples, and others, underline the potential for a paradigm shift to take place in government/private-sector interaction in the development and application of space technologies. This should be encouraged further as we embark upon great new space agendas. Third, governmental policy should focus on methods and systems that best can offer access and certainty to the private sector while offering new risk management tools to governmental managers. I have three suggestions. First, all federal agencies –not just NASA - should examine their space efforts for co-investment opportunities. New space program initiatives should be designed from the outset to encourage private-sector co-investment whenever possible. Second, federal commitment to commercial co-investment in space should be institutionalized. not bureaucratized. Ebb-and-flow interest in space commerce does not create a positive investment climate. Each federal agency with a space portfolio should have a commercial-space advocate. This is paramount. All policy is ultimately embodied in the people charged with its implementation. At NASA, Team Encounter was extremely fortunate to be able to work with Dr. Ed Weiler and his capable staff including Charles Gay and others and former Chief of Staff Courtney Stadd, whose long-term commitment to including the private sector in space is well known, as evidenced by his appearance on today’s panel. Without their commitment to overcome any barrier and willingness to honestly broker very real concerns on both the government’s and industry’s side of the table, I would not be able today to speak to NASA’s new interest in private-sector approaches. Third, risk management techniques -- for example, insurance coverage for federal payloads -- should be permitted as a means to assist agencies to accept conventional commercial-risk parameters as they work with existing and emerging private-sector space companies. My final observation is that a continuous, strong national commitment to the inclusion of private investment in space applications and exploration will inspire a new generation of engineers and entrepreneurs; permit the U.S. to accomplish major new space goals in a budget-constrained environment; and help to maintain our leadership in an increasingly competitive global space industry. Please allow me to elaborate on the first point. Our own Team Encounter missions - involving a unique blend of cutting-edge technology development, corporate sponsorship and media participation, and direct public participation via the internet – continually attract a steady stream of resumes, inquiries, and “how can I help?” requests from young people from every state and across the planet. Space missions can be fun, exciting, and meaningful to young people as they contemplate their career choices. By embracing a new generation of entrepreneurial space companies, NASA can help to ensure its own future through the development of talented, enthusiastic engineers and managers. Perhaps this increased inspiration to a new generation will be the most important legacy of increased government/private sector cooperation in space.
Mr. Courtney Stadd
Mr. Chairman, and members of the Committee, I greatly appreciate the opportunity to participate in this hearing regarding the President’s newly announced space policy and especially to discuss the prospects for private sector interest in space-related activities, including launch vehicle development and the International Space Station. I would like to begin my statement with an excerpt from an essay drafted by one of my space clients, Robert Bigelow, about whom I have more to say later in my testimony. If you go to his company’s web site at www.bigelowaerospace.com and click on “space commerce” you can access the full text. I think its sentiments are highly relevant to today’s hearing. “Two hundred years after the Lewis and Clark expedition America continues to explore new frontiers. The manned space program of the late twentieth century has opened the door to almost limitless possibilities. Yet, despite the brave efforts and sacrifice of astronauts, both American and Russian, the U.S. and other nations have failed to capitalize on the hard earned achievements of the national space programs. As was the case 200 years ago, exploring the frontier was relatively simple when compared with the difficulties of surviving and profiting in a new and hostile environment. Unlike past space endeavors, settling and developing space cannot be accomplished by government programs and personnel. The U.S. Government could fund and order Lewis and Clark to explore the West, but it could not pay or force pioneers to settle the region. Governments do have an important role to play in creating an environment conducive to space development, but it is the pioneering entrepreneurs, not the soldiers or bureaucrats, who can take and colonize a new frontier.” A little over a year ago, we mourned the tragic loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia and its heroic crew. The investigation that followed blamed not only technical and communication problems within NASA, but called out the absence of a compelling strategic vision for our nation’s civil space program. January 14th marked a major milestone in the nation’s civil space adventure when the President committed the nation to a new bearing point and a renewed strategic direction in space. His vision now takes humankind beyond the confines of the low earth orbit we have occupied for decades, and draws our attention out into the distant universe, and the next logical destinations for humanity, including the Moon, Mars and beyond. The President’s new space policy is a tribute to both the Columbia astronauts and future generations of American pioneers. I am the father of two teenagers and I can tell you that they and their friends’ imaginations were really fired up by the combination of the President’s speech and the extraordinary technical achievements of the Mars rovers – Spirit and Opportunity. The prospect that members of their generation might one day actually walk on another planetary surface even managed to cause some of them, however briefly, to think outside themselves and focus on a higher calling. No small miracle in itself! The President’s plan responds to what many in the space community have been calling for in recent years: A bold new vision for NASA that lays out measured, pragmatic, evolutionary steps as the path for achievement of the goals he broadly outlined. Achievement of those goals will require a number of ambitious capabilities to be developed and demonstrated. We in private industry are greatly encouraged by NASA’s recognition that it will be looking to the commercial sector for critical products and services in pursuing this exciting new road map. And make no mistake: there is ample room for significant contributions by entrepreneurs, private sector investors and commercial companies who see the benefits of supplying products, services and technology for space-related markets. Change, of course, often serves as a catalyst for innovation and new out-of-the-box ideas in the way we do things. By their very nature, entrepreneurs view “change” as a chance to translate challenge into profitable opportunities. This is why, frankly, so many American space entrepreneurs are embracing the period of potential change set in motion by the President’s policy announcement. I have spent nearly thirty years of active involvement in the U.S. civil and commercial space communities - working in both the public and private sectors. With that said, I have also learned that it is nearly impossible to craft a national policy that satisfies all the various and sundry stakeholders. There will always be “rice bowls” who resist change when new priorities are set, such as those who may have a vested interest in preserving certain NASA programs that will be terminated or redirected as a result of the new vision. There will also be those that are frustrated by what they may view as an overly deliberate, evolutionary approach to realizing the President’s goals. From this particular stakeholder’s vantage point, however, I think the President and NASA have offered a compelling and exciting vision that is both pragmatic and executable, costing less than one percent of the annual federal budget. At the same time, it offers a range of exciting opportunities for private industry whose resources can help leverage and expand the investment of taxpayer dollars in the space program. Before proceeding to discuss specific potential private sector interest in supporting the civil space program in areas such as launch vehicle development and the Space Station, allow me to underscore that the interdisciplinary nature of the new space exploration vision will require innovative technologies and breakthroughs in areas with huge potential impact on our economic competitiveness. These include major industrial sectors such as communications, robotics, materials, computing and automation, biotechnology and life sciences, power and propulsion, and networking. As the Congressionally-charted “Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry” (November 2002) made clear, our domestic aerospace infrastructure is severely undermined by a shortage of engineers and scientists, as well as foreign subsidized competition. The Commission’s Executive Summary lays it out in stark terms: “The industry is confronted with a graying workforce in science, engineering and manufacturing … New entrants to the industry have dropped precipitously to historical lows as the number of layoffs in the industry mount … We note with interest how other countries that aspire for a great global role are directing intense attention and resources to foster an indigenous aerospace industry. This is in contrast to the attitude present here in the United States. We stand dangerously close to squandering the advantage bequeathed to us by prior generations of aerospace leaders. We must reverse this trend and march steadily towards rebuilding the industry.” Scientists and engineers initially attracted to work on space exploration programs will likely also go on to build the next generation Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites, missile defense systems, and laser communications satellites. I would respectfully suggest, Mr. Chairman, that your colleagues in Congress, should debate the merits of this new exploration vision in the broader context of providing this nation a much overdue opportunity to revitalize our aerospace sector and return the U.S. to a leadership position in an area that has such important national economic and security implications. With the primary focus of the Space Shuttle on completing the assembly of the Space Station, the commercial sector is eager to provide innovative solutions for Space Station transportation, logistics and research support. There are several start-up companies, such as Constellation Services, Inc., and Kistler Aerospace that are offering to provide such services. This category of company includes those who are using private sector capital in seeking NASA as an “anchor tenant” in pursuit of both government and commercial market business opportunities. Accordingly, I am very pleased to see that NASA has included $140 million for a new project, ISS Crew and Cargo Services, to purchase Space Station transportation services. Although I understand that foreign suppliers may provide some of these services, NASA should be supported in its efforts to direct the bulk of these funds to U.S. commercial suppliers to develop services to meet Space Station cargo transport needs. It is important for NASA to ensure that it offers truly competitive opportunities for industry, including start-up ventures; rather than utilizing the procurement process to prejudge the outcome for preferred suppliers of products and services. It is equally important for this Committee and its counterparts in the House to give NASA the resources and even moral support it will need to sometimes take the risk on new entrants and engage alternative commercial suppliers of space goods and services. In that regard, American entrepreneurial firms are eager to respond to the $10 million Small Payload Demonstration Program that is intended to use emerging launch suppliers to fly unflown NASA instruments or other small payloads; while also assisting these new firms to establish their credibility as providers of new commercial vehicles to meet future NASA needs. The alternative to commercial competition is that NASA and its International Space Station partners will continue to devote critical attention to providing unmanned logistics support that could be done by the private sector. That would be a loss for everyone. From a commercial standpoint, Mr. Chairman, an exciting new initiative in the NASA budget is the Centennial Challenges Program. This initiative was partly inspired by the success of the X-Prize Foundation, which is offering $10 million for the first team that launches a vehicle capable of carrying three people (or one person and ballast weight for two others) on a suborbital trajectory to 100-kilometers or 62-miles and repeats the flight within two weeks. I understand that approximately 27 entrants representing seven countries are competing for the prize. It is fair to say that a $10 million prize has caused tens of millions of dollars to be invested by the private sector in pursuit of a wide variety of innovative launch vehicle concepts. For me, this is a dramatic illustration of how much dynamic energy and creativity is available in the commercial space sector. The Centennial Challenges Program invests $20 million in a series of annual prizes for revolutionary, breakthrough accomplishments from innovators not usually affiliated with the space program. It is my understanding that in order for the Centennial Challenge program to “take off” it will require that this Committee authorize NASA to have similar prize-making authority that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) currently enjoys. Examples of potential candidate programs include nano-materials, very low cost robotic space missions and spacecraft power systems. It is well known that during the Apollo program breakthrough innovations often came from unexpected sources; therefore we need to create “on ramps” for creative individuals and small entrepreneurial teams. The key to this program’s success, however, is to ensure minimal bureaucratic intrusion and efforts by “rice bowls” to vector the resources into programs that perpetuate the status quo versus truly advancing unorthodox inventions and ideas. Accordingly, I would urge this Committee to pay special attention to how the Agency executes this potentially exciting program. Done right it could represent no less than a paradigm shift in how the Agency works with the private sector. Over the past three decades, I have personally witnessed several cycles in which private capital –either in the form of institutional or high net worth individuals – have tried to develop various space launch and payload concepts for commercial and/or government markets. Every cycle has been characterized by its share of firms poorly managed (in that sense, the commercial space business is no different than other business sectors) or those who fall into the trap of mistaking technical possibility for market opportunity, or those who are essentially using taxpayer money to sell to the government under the guise of “commercialization”. It is my purely non-scientific observation that the current cycle, although very much in the start-up stage, is being driven by more sophisticated players and capital who have learned from the trials and tribulations of their predecessors. There are multiple signs that capital formation is interested in space activities and even defense and space services, and that capital markets are becoming healthy again. Although I do not profess to be an expert on the capital markets, the nation’s pension funds, banks, and insurance companies appear to have re-energized their private equity and debt investments into venture and other forms of capital management in the past two years. Venture firms are showing signs of stability as well as a penchant for many of the nano-technology, life sciences, power sources, power technologies and other fundamental technical areas required for support of new space exploration missions. Last quarter, the venture capital industry invested $4.9 billion into new ventures, a level of investment activity that is the highest in the past eighteen months. This level of investing is expected to continue based on the increase in the availability of capital and deal flow for the foreseeable future, approximately $20 billion a year. Even more significant is the steady amounts of capital being raised by venture capital firms and other private sector institutions for investments into new high tech opportunities. In terms of high net worth individuals who are investing their personal wealth into commercial space-related projects, I am associated with Robert Bigelow, President and founder, Bigelow Aerospace, a five-year-old Nevada-based space company that is developing expandable space module technology based on the Transhab project which was managed down the street at the Johnson Space Center until it was terminated for budget reasons a few years ago. Mr. Bigelow has never taken one dollar of government contract money. He brings to his space venture over three decades of true competitive commercial business experience in the construction, engineering and contracting fields. Since early 1999, Mr. Bigelow has been aggressively investing his own resources in building his company’s expertise, capabilities, key partnerships and hardware. Bigelow Aerospace has been developing its capabilities within a Space Act Agreement with NASA that allows for a sharing of knowledge and expertise between the two parties involving no exchange of funds. When I informed Mr. Bigelow that I would be making a statement to this Committee, he requested that I underscore his praise for the Johnson Space Center Director, Jefferson Howell, under whose leadership Bigelow Aerospace has benefited greatly from the cooperation it has received from JSC. Such cooperation also appears to reflect the overall policy support for commercial space initiatives, such as Bigelow Aerospace, that is coming from NASA Headquarters. BA is pursuing its expandable space module technology based on the belief that such modules might drastically reduce the costs of living and working in the low earth orbit (LEO) environment. Potential uses include biotechnology research, earth observation, space tourism and other applications that we are pursuing on a proprietary basis. Such modules could, of course, eventually be utilized as habitats on other planetary surfaces. In pursuing this capability in low earth orbit, it is imperative that the U.S. develop space vehicles capable of bringing people and cargo to and from LEO. The current grounding of the Space Shuttle fleet has revealed the unfortunate reliance of the U.S. on the only alternate human carrier, the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, which makes it a single point of failure. Further, it is a fundamental rule of business to avoid negotiating in a situation where the other party has the upper hand in terms of being the sole supplier of a critical service. In this instance, the Russians hold some key “Aces”. It is therefore in the self-interest of the U.S. to encourage private sector cargo and human rated launch initiatives. As noted earlier, NASA plays a critical role in encouraging the emergence of private sector alternatives. Elon Musk, who is familiar to this Committee, is another example of an entrepreneur who comes from a non-space industry sector (in his case, the Internet) who has founded SpaceX to develop a new family of low cost Falcon launch vehicles that are currently priced to cost less than half the price of similar launch vehicles due to competitive pricing and through the use of reusable first stage rocket engines. It is to the credit of the Department of Defense that it has placed a payload on board the company’s first launch – currently scheduled for late spring of this year. SpaceX’s Falcon rockets are precisely the type of vehicles that NASA should consider for some of its own experimental payloads. Based on my own informal discussions with Mr. Musk, he is similar to Mr. Bigelow in that they both have immersed themselves in the arcane science and engineering associated with their respective space businesses, are aggressively recruiting the best and brightest technical minds and are investing their own significant wealth in bringing to the aerospace marketplace business strategies that have served them well in their previous commercial businesses. These two space entrepreneurs are but two examples of the small but growing community of individuals and companies that are pursuing space-related opportunities. I am also excited by the potential of companies, such as Zero-G Corporation and Space Adventures, that are seeking to expose the marketplace to the experience of weightlessness. (As someone who has experienced zero-g on NASA’s KC-135 I can testify that the experience is sufficiently exhilarating that I would relish the chance to experience it on a sustained basis in space.) The successful growth of space tourism while clearly not a part of NASA’s new mission, would be of enormous benefit to NASA in strengthening and diversifying the aerospace industrial base while bringing the excitement of space travel to the wider public. I would like to commend to the Committee that it review H.R. 3752, introduced by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, and recently passed by the House Science Committee, that calls for a balanced regulatory framework for space tourism. These entrepreneurs are demonstrating that the private sector can potentially augment the government’s efforts to open the space frontier for the full expression of the human enterprise. I wish that I were in a position to tell the Committee specifically how they and the Agency could support and encourage the work of these entrepreneurs. The reality is that each entrepreneurial project will have its own unique needs, and therefore they must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. For example, Bigelow Aerospace could potentially benefit from NASA launching one of its sub-scale demonstrator modules, whereas I’m sure SpaceX would jump at an opportunity to receive a contract for a NASA launch. The critical issue is that the NASA officials who are responsible for dealing with these entities must be given the freedom and support to deal with new entrepreneurial companies in a flexible and creative fashion. Moreover, this Committee too can play a critical role in providing the resources and relevant Agency oversight to ensure that NASA is fulfilling its commitment to leverage private sector opportunities to the greatest extent possible. Again, I cannot emphasize how important it is for this Committee, its Members and staff to remain engaged in this process over the long term. Additionally, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the burden that current export control laws place on new entrepreneurs. No doubt, I could fill this hearing room with various academic studies and Commission reports that document the negative competitive effects of the current export licensing regime on the U.S. aerospace sector. The emerging space companies often depend upon the low-cost alternatives that foreign aerospace organizations can provide. One of the key recommendations from the “Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry” was that “U.S. export control regulations must be substantially overhauled ….” I feel strongly that the time has come for this Committee and Congress to conduct a comprehensive review of our space-related export control laws in order to identify rules that have become obsolete and hurt more than they help both American security and business interests. Mr. Chairman, I would like to raise another possible way the commercial sector might assist our government in leveraging its highly constrained resources. In the wake of the President’s announcement, I really think that there may be investors who might explore negotiating with NASA an exclusive marketing and brokering arrangement for the U.S. portion of the Space Station for a specific period of time. Again, a concept like this would be feasible only if there is genuine interest by the government in such a proposal. Such an initiative is based on the view that NASA has demonstrated engineering brilliance in construction and deployment of the Space Station. But as NASA and its prime contractor base move on to implement the exploration strategy, perhaps now is an opportune time to explore innovative ideas for how the American commercial sector might be able to utilize the Space Station capability to its fullest extent. Specifically, the potential may exist to establish a structure whereby the Agency would receive royalties based on the profits generated by a private sector ISS initiative. These royalties might well help partially reimburse the government for the tax-payer’s investment in ISS, and perhaps over the long term could fund improvements to the Station and/or be leveraged to support the President’s vision of exploration beyond LEO. Whether or not this specific initiative goes anywhere, my point is that today’s challenges can become win-win opportunities if the government is seriously open to new approaches with the private sector. In addition to private sector sources of capital, there is an increasing interest on the part of state and local government organizations to partner with NASA to assist in financing new services. For example, several state-based commercial spaceports have used their own resources to leverage infrastructure investments for both private and public sector uses. Speaking of innovative public-private partnerships in space, it is worth noting that private investors recently financed a Norwegian satellite data center that supports and is an integral part of U.S. defense and space activities. A private placement was raised, which enabled both U.S. and Norwegian governments to access a critical service, without seeking new appropriated dollars from the Congress. Under the financing mechanism, which raised over $40 million dollars, the government is estimated to be saving up to $2.5 million per year for the first few years, and as much as $7 million for the remaining 20 years. Such third party and state supported financings are making inroads into many sectors of government involvement, especially in defense and energy, which depend heavily on outsourced services and private financing. There is no reason why such a model could not be utilized in the space arena. Finally, Mr. Chairman, I must admit that when I first started in the commercial space sector my colleagues and I had fervently hoped that we would be much further ahead in the development of commercial space markets than we are today. In retrospect, I believe that we neglected a fundamental rule of the marketplace: Markets usually change over extended periods of time as customers and providers become slowly educated and acclimated to the advantages of new products and services. A case-in-point was the slow evolution of the marketplace before Global Position System (GPS) applications reached “critical mass” with a global commercial customer base. A technology that began commercially as a more efficient means of conducting land surveys now brings Information Technology-based productivity to an astonishing array of global infrastructures – from telephones to trucking and aviation to power lines. The President’s direction to NASA has opened new opportunities by which government and industry can learn from one another and thus maximize the chances that the new vision actually becomes reality while giving birth to a robust, diverse and competitive U.S. space industrial base with major benefits for our nation and the future of humanity. America’s space entrepreneurs, who reside in both small and large companies, are poised once again to bring the promise of space to fruition. Frankly, a major challenge is whether the U.S. Government will ultimately follow-through on the promise of the new policy. Thank you again for the opportunity to be here today and I look forward to any questions you may have.
Mr. W.F. “Mitch” Mitchell
Thank you for this invitation to share my views on the President’s new space policy and to introduce NEO Safety International’s efforts to help achieve the President’s space goals. I applaud the new space policy. This new direction and vision for the nation is long overdue. Having a clear picture of where to go and what to accomplish is the first step in any challenging new endeavor. I believe the President’s bold vision is a worthy and honorable undertaking and that our great nation has the talent and the resources to make it a reality. However, critics of the space policy abound. Even some staunch GOP supporters are having difficulty supporting the policy given the current large military budgets needed to fight a world wide war on terror and the precarious status of many of the nations social programs caused by large budget deficits. The bottom line is critics say the nation simply cannot afford this expensive vision solely to satisfy our need to explore and fulfill our scientific curiosity. I believe the critics can be quieted and broad based support gained by acknowledging a far more serious reason for our nation to be in space. The nation must develop space to mitigate the threat of impacts by asteroids and comets. Only now are we becoming fully aware of the true life and death danger posed by these impact threats. There is currently a large number of concerned scientist and international experts studying the danger of impacts from Near Earth Objects (NEO’s). The attached Space Defense Manifesto is the result of a logical analysis of that body of work. Most experts agree that it is not a question of “If”, but rather “When”, the impact of an asteroid or comet will cause a serious global disaster. The worst case scenario even predicts destruction of all life on earth! The “When” is statistically just as likely to be NOW as it is a thousand years from now. Therefore, we have an urgent and compelling reason to act to protect ourselves, our children and their children from this danger of NEO impacts. NEO SAFETY INTERNATIONAL is a privately funded corporation that was formed to facilitate and expedite the rapid development of a space based defensive system to protect the planet from NEO impacts. The business plan of the corporation is in the early feasibility phase. However, some of the preliminary aspects of the plan are; · Perform fast track reconnaissance missions to several asteroids to learn their exact physical, chemical and mineral makeup. · Capture one or more relatively small asteroids and convert the raw elements into rocket fuel, structural materials and shielding devices needed to build a larger material processing spacecraft. · Use the asteroid derived interceptor and material processing spacecraft to intercept progressively larger asteroids and convert them into incrementally larger interceptors and space bases. · Use this building block method to build a reasonable number of space bases equipped with a fleet of NEO interceptors. · Strategically locate these bases at positions within the inner solar system to reasonably assure ourselves that we are capable of intercepting any and all threats from comets and asteroids. · The first material processing base should be built at the Moon’s L1 Lagrange location and it should also facilitate the development of a lunar base. This base should also be used to stage the President’s proposed Mar’s missions. The development of the space defense system will be very difficult and challenging. Nevertheless, developing this system is doable and is absolutely necessary. Some of the key ingredients needed to successfully create the new infrastructure are; · Use Apollo/Space Shuttle era “off the shelf” technology for all initial missions. New technologies will be developed as needed. · Acquire a large percentage of the total mass needed for fuel and building materials from the mining and processing of the asteroids themselves. Only a relatively small mass will come from the Earth, i.e. food, computers, spacesuits etc. · Finance the early missions by selling the science discovered on the asteroids to NASA and other interested parties. · Command and control of all the interceptors will be by an international military coalition. · Individual interceptors will be sold and or leased to the U. S. Military and the militaries of other nations working to protect the planet. · The bases will be a traditional real estate type development with sales and leases to the various militaries, NASA, other space agencies, industrial companies, commercial entities, universities, research institutions, medical facilities and individuals. Many of the President’s goals for NASA and the exploration of space can be enhanced by developing resources from asteroids. Byproducts of the defense system will be: · Availability of affordable and limitless quantities of radiation shielding materials · Large supplies of low cost water and propellants available in near earth orbits · A vast array of metals, glasses and other building materials will be “for sale” · Other yet unknown “finds” will help service the new space industry The project will be financed as a traditional real estate development. Ownership of private property, minerals and natural resources will be an essential ingredient for success. NEO Safety International will assume the development and financial risk. Our corporation will sell and lease facilities to the US Military and NASA as anchor customers and tenants. An International Military and Space Agencies Coalition will be co-anchors. Other target customers are industrial enterprises, commercial entities, universities, research institutions, medical facilities, financial/ service companies and individuals. A few ways that Congress can help in starting this project are: · Enact enabling legislation where needed · Provide Tax incentives to owners, investors and lenders · Direct NASA and the DOD to prioritize and cooperate to create this defensive system · Help create a Mutually Assured Protection (MAP) philosophy with other nations · Insure that private property rights and intellectual property rights laws are extended into the solar system Our motivation to master space needs to no longer be based on exploration for exploration’s sake. We now have a moral imperative. We must develop space to insure our survival and the lives of all who will follow. I also believe that the act of developing this defensive system will also spark a new space industrial revolution that will pay for itself in the creation of new wealth in sizes unimaginable it today’s terms. Thank you Mr. Chairman and member of the Committee.
Mr. Robert Lorsch
Good morning members of The Subcommittee. My name is Robert H. Lorsch and I am CEO of The RHL Group, Inc. I am pleased to be here today to discuss this very important opportunity. For more than 30 years I have specialized in marketing communications and my clients have included all three major television networks, Johnson & Johnson, Beatrice Foods, Sears, McDonald’s, Northrop Grumman, Procter & Gamble and Microsoft amongst others. I have also been involved as a philanthropist promoting science education as a Director and Trustee of the California Science Center, whose gateway is the Robert H. Lorsch Family Pavilion. I have received the “C” Flag Private Sector Initiative award from the White House for my work in Earthquake Preparedness. As a businessman and philanthropist I have raised in excess of ten million dollars for a variety of charitable organizations, through direct contributions and numerous national advertiser cause-related marketing programs, similar to the concepts contained herein. My biography is included as a part of my written submission. In 1981, then President Ronald Reagan challenged government to work with the private sector to create programs designed to return a portion of the financial burden of government to business and industry. I contacted his press secretary, Jim Brady, with an idea for a NASA space advertising program of non-commercial sponsorship messages to be placed inside the space shuttle. The 1981 proposal suggested that for one million dollars, sponsors or advertisers could place a message in a shuttle flight. The message carried on a “Plaque” would be a non commercial supportive message of NASA missions to be placed on an inside wall of the space shuttle, which would be seen during broadcasts from the mission. As incentives, each individual, company, foundation, or other organization would receive benefits such as: --A launch and landing party and dinner with NASA officials and available members of Congress; --Pictures of donors with astronauts and other dignitaries; --Official letters of appreciation; --The right to promote the companies sponsorship of NASA much like a major Olympics sponsor; Secretary Brady referred my program to Admiral Robert Garrick then Deputy Counselor to the President at the White House. Working with Admiral Garrick’s office in conjunction with then Counsel to the President Fred Fielding, I refined my plan when Chief of Staff Ed Meese directed it be reviewed by NASA. At that point the program made its way to the desk of James Fanseen, then Assistant Administrator for NASA. Mr. Fanseen greatly supported this program and worked over years to help me “get it off the ground” with no success. It was rejected primarily because there was no way for NASA to see any money, since monies raised for a government agency would first go to the United States Treasury and could not be directly allocated to the space agency. Additionally there was a belief that the shuttle belonged to the American people and no one had a right to commercialize it. Numerous officials in NASA, Congress and the Senate encouraged me then and now to stay with a space advertising program. I was approached 20 years later to participate in NASA’s Dreamtime venture, which I rejected and despite all good intentions did not meet its planned objectives for tapping the commercial potential of the space program. In 1984, I presented a revised and updated approach to the 1981 presentation. This presentation made with the support of the administrator’s office and the White House was formally presented to Mr. Fanseen, Jesse Moore, Acting Assistant Administrator for Space Flight, NASA’s General Counsel and others. Among the new aspects of this plan was an outline of how and when sponsorship plaques could be broadcast. It included an example of a non-commercial message. Incentives were more detailed. VIP tours at the major space centers were added. The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum was suggested as a place where sponsorship plaques might hang permanently. However despite all the encouragement, the program was again rejected for similar reasons in 1984 and again after going back again in 1989. Additionally I was told retaining the services of my agency would need to be subject to open competition & the Armed Services Procurement Act ignoring any intellectual property rights (common law or otherwise) which I had accrued over the years through my numerous writings & presentations. Since the first Shuttle flight there have been 113 missions. If my program had been implemented, the space program could have earned more than five billion dollars, not counting Space Station opportunities. This would have been enough money to have funded NASA’s entire budget in 1982 or nearly thirty five percent of it in 2003. Additionally the messages of support (which now will never be seen) would have reminded the public about the importance of the space program in our daily lives without taking away the public’s ownership in any manner what so ever. Last month President Bush announced a plan for this nation to have manned missions to go back to the Moon and Mars starting in 2014. NASA estimates these programs will require expenditures of at least $170 billion. Hundreds of millions of dollars more will be needed to convert all of NASA’s ground-based and space-based video facilities to the HDTV standard over the next decade. With an under funded NASA stuck where it was in 1979 at eight tenths of one percent of the federal budget this financial challenge seems insurmountable. However, there is a way upwards. My written submission includes copies of my 1981 and 1984 presentations, along with a revised 2004 presentation. Working with NASA, this program can become a reality starting now. And by 2008 that reality can generate at least 100 million dollars for the ground and space based facility upgrades with billions more in the works from sponsors in support of NASA efforts to send America back to the moon and then to Mars. In fact in 1999 NASA posted its own “Commercial Space Transportation Study” on the web. In section188.8.131.52 of NASA’s own document it says “The use of launch vehicles as an advertising medium is a newly evolving market with the potential to obtain substantial revenues”. It discusses the opportunities for advertising in space including orbiting billboards. Excerpts of which are also included in my written submission. It is clear that times have changed and NASA now recognizes the value of the intellectual properties I presented through their own demonstrated efforts to find ways to initiate a space advertising program. NASA points to an agreement with Columbia Pictures to place an ad for “The Last Action Hero” on the side of the Conestoga Comet launch vehicle for five hundred thousand dollars while the Soviet space program has already been supported by advertising from American companies such as Pepsi. Why didn’t those monies stay here? I ask this Subcommittee to create a mechanism to get money from the private sector into NASA to enable the next generation of spacecraft to get off the ground. I have never given up on my dream to get Space Advertising off the ground. I have continued to share my proposals, ideas and presentations with congressional leaders, representatives of NASA, JPL, and astronauts including Eugene Cernan, Harrison Schmitt, Buzz Aldrin, T.K. Mattingly, James Lovell, Bill Shepherd, and former NASA Administrator Dan Goldin. Last October, I presented my program to Representative Dana Rohrabacher, Congressional Space & Aeronautics Chairman who recently told me, “I wholeheartedly support your efforts to help the U.S. space program and am pleased that the Senate committee is taking such a proactive interest in your ideas.” Let’s not waste another 23 years and lose another five billion dollars or more. Let’s work as a team to get private sector sponsorships of the space program off the ground so we can deliver on Ronald Reagan’s Challenge and fulfill President Bush’s mission to take our nation back into space. I look forward to responding to any comments or questions you may have. Respectfully Submitted, Robert H. Lorsch CEO, The RHL Group, Inc