Space and National Security Symposium at Las Vegas
An important highlight of the 1962 Air Force Association Convention at Las Vegas, Nev., was the Symposium on Space and Notional Security, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center September 21 under the auspices of the Aerospace Education Foundation. Panel moderator was Sen. Howard W. Cannon, Democrat of Nevada, who also served as Convention General Chairman. Panelists included Dr. Arthur Kantrowitz, Vice President of the Avco Corp., and Director of the Avco-Everett Research Laboratory, Everett, Mass.; Air Marshal C. Roy Slemon, Royal Canadian Air Force, Deputy Commander in Chief, North American Air Defense Command; Dr. Edward C. Welsh, Executive Secretary, National Aeronautics and Space Council; and Gen. Bernard A. Schriever, Commander, Air Force Systems Command. Panelists' formal presentations were followed by a lively question-and-answer period. Following is a slightly condensed version of the Symposium proceedings.—The Editors
"Let us not explore the heavens at the risk of our survival as free men on earth. Let us agree that shooting at the moon, like disarmament, is a means to an end, not the end in itself."
Can We Afford Medieval Thinking in the Space Age?
By US Senator Howard W. Cannon
The other day I ran across a bit of satire pertinent to a symposium on space and national security, a parody on a proposal for a new anti-ICBM system. It is called the "turnabout technique." It is described as follows:
"Consider a large array of rigidly fixed rocket engines, uniformly distributed in a band about the earth's equator. All are pointed tangent to the earth's surface, parallel to the equator, and pointed in the same direction. Then, when an incoming enemy warhead is detected by the DEW Line, these rocket engines are all turned on. This applies a large torque to the earth about its axis of rotation, accelerating its rotation. By suitable control of the rocket thrust, the earth can be rotated 180 degrees between the time of detection and the time of impact. This missile would, therefore, land on the enemy's own territory and contribute to his own destruction. . .
Funny? I guess we can agree on that . . . Ridiculously impossible? Well, yes, I suppose it is, if anything can be called ridiculously impossible. I suppose this turnabout technique probably would qualify. Yet who can say how and where the last laughs will fall as man pushes the state of the art?
Historically, a lot of people have eaten the words "ridiculously impossible." So consider, for example, the old controversy regarding relative movement of earth and the sun. Copernicus, the great astronomer of the Middle Ages, was convinced from his research that the earth was not the center of the universe, as was popularly believed, but that the earth revolved around the sun. But the intellectual climate of his time was such that Copernicus feared to publish his discovery lest he be persecuted or perhaps burned to death as a heretic. The fears of Copernicus were not unfounded.
Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for supporting the Copernican thesis on earth and sun, and the intellectual conflict continued over the years. Galileo was condemned by the Inquisition for his insistence that Copernicus was right. Obviously, to many people, an earth moving around a sun was ridiculously impossible. I am not suggesting that the turnabout technique may take its place in history among these classics, but I cite it only to underscore the need for more open-mindedness in evaluating the military space requirement.
I am going to take off my moderator's cap for a moment, for a few observations.
• At the moment, it seems to me the military space mission is a confused mish-mash of emotion and scientific method.
• Too many people neglect to evaluate the peaceful uses of space in the same context that they view the peaceful uses of sea and air. They accept military forces in these three conventional media for the stated national purpose of preserving peace. But then they apply a different equation or different definition when they talk about peace in space.
• Too many people judge every proposal for the utilization of space in terms of how it will help to put a man on the moon, as if that were the only space mission to be considered.
These observations seem almost juvenile as I mention them, yet it is surprising how many people of influence in this space business are guilty of fuzzy thinking on this point. They refuse to acknowledge that there might be many approaches to the use of space in pursuit of goals that will benefit, rather than destroy, mankind. Let us not explore the heavens at the risk of our survival as free men on earth. Let us agree that shooting at the moon, like disarmament, is a means to an end, not the end in itself. And let's come to grips with the fact that the far side of the earth—not the far side of the moon—presents the immediate threat to peace and freedom as we know it—END
"It is my conviction that the most likely way that this [missile] stalemate will be broken is by space-based weapons which we cannot now clearly foresee. We [must] explore . . . all available avenues for increasing the breadth of our vision."
Space: Newest Arena for Military Breakthroughs
By Dr. Arthur Kantrowitz
The ability to send instruments and men into space is a tremendous expansion of the perspectives open to mankind.
This expansion has naturally created great concern about its meaning for national security. I want to talk . . . about those aspects of the visible environment in space; that part which we can now see, those aspects which seem to be especially important for the national security.
I want, secondly, to point out what, in my opinion, is the most urgent task at this time in the preservation of our security, and particularly I want to call attention . . . to one area which I feel is badly missing from the national program.
To my mind, the most striking aspect of space from a defense point of view still remains its immensity. One way of illustrating the significance of that for defense is to consider, for example, the situation where one explodes a large weapon in space, and makes it uninhabitable for people, let us say, and for instruments, and all objects . . within a radius of 100 miles. That is a large weapon, if you consider protected instruments and protected men. However, that means that you make unusable . . . or . . . destroy everything in a volume that may add up to several million cubic miles. This, however, is much less than one part in a billion of that tiny portion of space that lies between ourselves and the moon. This illustrates that there lies in the immensity of space the possibility of developing some kind of resistance to the enormous power of nuclear weapons.
Another—to my mind—striking aspect of space, for defense purposes, is the easy possibility of very effective decoys. This arises because of the well-known fact that the trajectory of an object in deep space is quite independent of its mass. This restricts very sharply the weighing of objects in space. One has very few opportunities for deciding whether an object in space is really a light balloon, whose surface is designed to simulate that of a weapon, or is in fact a heavy weapon itself. This leads to the possibility of creating enormous numbers of very light decoys in space, which will make it again very hard to destroy space weapons. These two phenomena and combinations—the immensity of space and the ease of making very light and very effective decoys—will to my mind greatly enhance the survivability of weapons in deep space.
I would like to mention one other property of deep space, that I think is . . . one of the obvious things, but . . . deserves emphasis. Space has extremely good properties for the propagation of electromagnetic radiation. We know from the primitive facts of astronomy that radiation can be propagated through millions of miles through deep space without disturbance of any sort. This uninhibited propagation of electromagnetic radiation and some other forms of radiation provides a tremendous opportunity for radiation weapons, which in the atmosphere face great difficulties. The recent achievement in the extension of our abilities to generate coherent electromagnetic radiation, the recent achievement of the laser, which makes it possible to extend the region of the electromagnetic spectrum, the optical region where we can make coherent radiation, and thus get sharply focused beams that can go over immense distances—this multiplies the possibilities for radiation weapons.
Now these are three of the obvious things about space—so obvious that you can see them now: that we knew long before the beginning of the space age. They mean to me that there are tremendous opportunities there for imaginative thinking in weaponry. At the present time we are approaching a period in which the United States and the Soviet Union will possess ballistic missile strength sufficient to produce intolerable devastation. The maintenance of our ballistic missiles invulnerable to enemy action can lead to a stalemate which would provide a period of tense stability. It is my conviction that the most likely way that this stalemate will be broken is by space-based weapons which we cannot now clearly foresee. It is vital for us during this period to maintain our ability to visualize, and if necessary to build, weapons equal to those of our adversary. This requires two things. In research, it requires that we explore all avail able avenues—the emphasis is on the word "all" —all available avenues for increasing the breadth of our vision, and the depth of our knowledge of the space environment. Our unmanned space probes, our manned space developments, will contribute to the broadening of this vision. We must also create the capability to rapidly develop operational weapons—when their feasibility and their need are apparent.
The development of boosters of increased reliability and size will be helpful in these directions. I want, however, to emphasize that there is one area—and to my mind a very important area —in which we are not now exploiting our capabilities for the early achievement of the research and development objectives set forth above. We are not exploiting the potentialities of manned orbital assembly. Manned orbital assembly can be undertaken with the boosters which we now have. The Titan II, for example, is capable of launching a man into space with a great deal of weight to spare; enough weight to spare so that the gear needed for rendezvous can be included. If these boosters were utilized, and there are other combinations which can also do this, if these boosters were utilized to achieve an early orbital assembly capability, we could, in a few years, assemble a manned laboratory in a low earth orbit. This laboratory could pursue many exciting research and development projects in the space environment, and would give us our chance to achieve the broader vision and the deeper knowledge, and the potentiality of space which is so vital to our future security.
The achievement of earth orbital assembly would give America the opportunity to utilize its unexcelled production capabilities for launching huge masses into space. If we had earth orbital assembly capability, then the payload . . . we could put in orbit could be limited not by the largest booster that we had operational, but by the numbers of boosters we could produce. Under such conditions, America could very easily so far Outrun the Soviet Union that the space race would be won, and very definitely.
Earth orbital assembly would seem to be the immediate Russian objective. Their recent coordinated launching of two vehicles which came within three kilometers of rendezvous undoubtedly brings them close to that achievement.
It is dangerous to us to allow a glaring asymmetry to develop in the capabilities for orbital rendezvous. We must begin this program quickly and on an urgent basis.—END
"We need to create systems which will fill out our initial warning and defense capability against the missile threat. . . . Beyond this, we need . . . the ability to detect . . . identify, and . . . intercept in space those vehicles that could be launched against us with hostile intent."
Meeting the Potential Soviet Threat from Space
By Air Marshall C. Roy Slemon, RCAF
The Soviet offensive capability against North America includes manned bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Russia has at least the potential for military weapons in space.
I said that the Soviet Union has the potential for creating offensive military systems for use in space. Let me emphasize that as of today, so far as we know, there is no Soviet operational space weapon system in existence. But a comparison of what such a system would have to be, with what the Soviet Union already has done in space, indicates quite clearly to us that the potential is there. Should such systems be developed and put into operation, they could constitute a very real threat in the future.
For example, the Soviet Union recently presented a space achievement which deserved applause and commanded respect, and it certainly received both. It also generated in many of us a strong feeling of uneasiness. Two space vehicles, each weighing about five tons, were launched within twenty-four hours. They orbited in tandem; approximated a space rendezvous pattern. In due time they were brought back to earth with remarkable precision to predetermined landing sites. Cosmonaut Andrian Nikolayev, in command of Vostok III, was aloft longest. He completed sixty-four orbits of the earth, flying 1,625,000 miles, and was in space for one hour short of four full days. Nikolayev and his fellow Cosmonaut, Pavel Popovich, during their orbits around the earth, crossed and recrossed North America a total of seventy times.
We cannot lightly disregard the military potential of a technology that has achieved such a level as this. Obviously, Soviet orbital systems could perform a number of tasks. They could be used for meteorological, navigation, or communications aids. Other applications might be evolved in the more distant future. Thermonuclear weapons of large size could be orbited and de-orbited at will. We hope, of course, that the Soviet Union shares our determination not to extend the arms race into space, while at the same time acknowledging that it has the potential to do so.
So we see that the threat we must defend against is a threefold one. By aircraft and various missiles, it could come from the air and the sea. And in the future it could come from space. With this array of present and future threats, the aerospace defense problem becomes complicated, and that is the understatement of the day.
As things stand today, we have a good defense against the manned bomber portion of the threat. A hostile bomber force approaching the United States or Canada from any direction has little or no chance of penetrating our air space without being detected.
And, once detected, such a hostile force would be brought under attack. NORAD would attack and attempt to knock down such a force as far from our industrial population centers as possible. We would try to destroy the force before it could launch air-to-surface missiles or release its bombs. The bomber that might escape our longest-range interceptors would be brought under attack by other interceptors of shorter range and by Bomarc missiles. If there were still survivors, these would finally be engaged by our point-defense weapons.
This résumé of the defensive air battle is not just a theoretical recital. Our assessments of our defense capability, stated here, are derived from a great number and variety of exercises carried out by all the regions and all the sectors of NORAD.
We cannot say the same for the threats posed by the intercontinental ballistic missile and by the submarine-launched missile.
We have built an electronic wall of warning around this continent, which enemy bombers would penetrate only at the risk of their own destruction. We have extended this wall to provide us with the maximum possible warning time against the missile threat. But as yet, defense against enemy missiles is far from the effectiveness we have reached against the manned bomber. It is as if we had built the walls of our house, but we have yet to put the roof on it.
Our ballistic missile early warning system, which we call BMEWS, now extending out over the entire Arctic from three huge radar installations in Alaska, Greenland, and England, could detect a missile attack and give us a minimum of about fifteen minutes' warning. But this ballistic missile early warning system looks only to the north, and provides no warning against an extended ballistic missile raid, which conceivably could be launched against us by way of the south polar region.
Mr. Khrushchev in a public address has taken note of this. He said, . . . "Our scientists and engineers have created a new intercontinental rocket which they call global. This rocket can fly around the world in any direction and strike a blow at any set target. As the people say, you expect him to appear at the door, but he climbs through the window." On another occasion this gentleman said in an impromptu address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, . . . "You can say our rocket hits a fly in outer space."
In view of what we know of Soviet military achievements, it would be unwise indeed to dismiss these words of the Soviet premier as mere bombast. The limitations of our BMEWS system, which I have mentioned, constitute serious deficiencies in our deterrent posture and must be corrected.
Active defense against the ballistic missile is being developed by the United States Army. At this time the most advanced project is the Nike-Zeus system. In long- and short-range firing tests against both live and simulated targets, the Nike-Zeus has been able to meet its test objective.
As for the possible future space portion of the threat, we are in much the same position. We have a detection and tracking system, but no active defense that could be deployed against possible space systems.
The space detection and tracking system—we call it SPADATS—collects and reads data from objects in space. The system consists of a number of radars and other sensors, located in various parts of the world, which collect and transmit information to the NORAD Combat Operations Center at Colorado Springs. Here it is received, refined, catalogued, and displayed.
In summary, we have adequate defense against the manned bomber threat. We are progressing with defense against missiles but still have far to go. And we have no active space defense system in sight if the enemy should elect to mount a threat in space.
At NORAD, therefore, we are in the position of being customers for new defensive systems to put a solid roof on our house. We are not the creator of these systems, but we are able to say what we need to do the aerospace defense job.
We need to create systems which will fill out our initial warning and defense capability against the missile threat. And beyond this we need, we think, the ability to detect, to identify, and to intercept in space those vehicles that could be launched against us with hostile intent.
These are traditional roles in air defense, but they are as applicable in space as they are in the present air defense mission. If an interceptor (one of our NORAD interceptors) goes aloft over the United States or Canada, its military capability is limited to intercepting an intruder.
I would not attempt to say what these space defense systems would look like or how they would be developed. These things are the province of the scientists and the engineers, and I hope they are on an accelerated schedule.
Dr. Kantrowitz mentioned, and I am going to remention by referring to some remarks made recently by General LeMay, when he said that progress—much progress—has been made in the field of focused-radiation energy. He said that in time we may see these new developments lead to focused energy weapons. Let me quote his words:
"The energy directed by such weapons could travel across space with essentially the speed of light. This would be an invaluable characteristic for the interception of ICBM warheads and their decoys. And, if a new generation of armament operating in space could neutralize an aggressor's ICBM, warfare as we know it would be outmoded by the advance of technology.
"The neutralization of ICBMs by a system deployed aboard a maneuvering space vehicle is no irresponsible escalation of an arms race.
"People who say that we have an unstable military environment do so because they feel the offense has overwhelmed the defense. A weapon such as I have described would return that offensive/defensive balance. And it would move the world into a new era of warfare. More importantly, it would move the world into a new era of preventing war. Assuming, of course, that it was in the proper hands.".
We at NORAD feel the impact of space developments sensitively and immediately. It is natural, I think, that there would be a sense of urgency on these matters in a defense command concerned with aerospace. The problems are great; they are with us . . . now.
We also believe that no potential aggressor will ever launch a major military effort against this continent unless he is convinced that he can achieve the necessary degree of surprise and decisive effect. He will be deterred just so long as he knows that his attack cannot achieve surprise and be decisive, and will trigger an overwhelming retaliatory attack force against him.
It goes without saying that we must maintain a defense which is adequate. Anything less than adequate may invite the attack we are trying so hard to deter. The adequate will be expensive, but certainly not as expensive as the loss we could suffer without it.—END
". . . A satellite does not have to contain a weapon to possess military significance. The Soviets' feats have indicated a space competence which has a direct bearing upon what is necessary to defend our country and to protect our rights in space and on earth."
Space Dollars, Sense, and Defense
By Dr. Edward C. Welsh
Last year in Philadelphia, I was privileged to participate in an Air Force Association forum similar to this. . . . At that time I stated that we are in a space race for our survival; that we should have a vigorous space program, even if no other nation were doing anything in space; and that the values received from our space efforts would exceed the costs many times over.
Also, I enunciated a thesis which has received a lot of mileage since. I refer to the quotation, "We have space missions to help keep the peace and space missions to help increase our ability to live well in peace." This year, before an American Rocket Society meeting, I stated that national security missions are a major portion of our national space program, at least as important as any other phase in space. I concluded with the observation, "If we do not take adequate care of our national defense, we will not have a chance to do any of the other things in space—at least as free men."
I see no reason for modifying any of the statements just referred to. In fact, I mention them again for emphasis.
Panel members are entitled to make brief statements and are privileged to answer questions I will jump the gun a bit and ask myself some questions and see if I can answer them.
• QUESTION: Why should we spend so much money and effort on a manned trip to the moon?
There are political, economic, defense, scientific, sociological, and a number of other reasons for a moon trip. I will not go through all of these reasons now, but I can assure you that, taken together, they comprise overwhelming evidence of the merit and the necessity for the project.
First of all, as to the choice of the moon as a space objective, I would simply comment that there is no other place so near in space where we can test the equipment and the men for future space travel.
Second, the lunar trip calls for the development of powerful rocket engines, sophisticated spacecraft, trained and carefully selected astronauts, extensive tracking systems, and protection of man against the multiple hazards of space. In fact, the decision and the schedule to go to the moon make mandatory the development of a competence which we must have and which we might well not obtain without such an ambitious goal.
Third, if we do not develop this competence and others do, we would lose prestige so essential at the negotiating table, and hence could, in a short time, become a second-rate nation in influence or, even worse, a first-rate satellite of a space-conquering nation.
Fourth, the skills, the products, and the scientific and engineering advances resulting from this effort will have a great impact upon our economy in higher standards of living, in an impetus to education and employment, and in new methods and components for productive processes.
Last, any competence which strengthens the country politically and economically is certain to contribute to its ability to deter aggression. The development of large rockets, the ability to rendezvous in space, the development of life-protective measures, and the refinement of control and guidance systems all have high defense values. The defense spin-off from the lunar project is very substantial since much of the technology necessary for keeping the peace must be developed and used in traveling to the moon.
I would conclude this too-brief answer by saying that the lunar trip is not a substitute for military competence in space, but it helps develop that competence. While the moon is not a particularly useful military base for operations against earth targets, the absence of a moon objective would be, in a real sense, an abdication of our world leadership position.
• MY SECOND QUESTION: Does the moon program divert funds from more urgent uses?
No, it does not, although the intricacies of government budgets are such that a case might be made that the moon program has discouraged money demands for some individual projects. However, this is not an either/or proposition. I defy anyone to make a convincing argument that a nation which spends in excess of $20 billion a year on recreation alone can't spend $5 to $10 billion a year on space without decreasing the number of yachts or even .the number of golf clubs in use. It is worth noting, moreover, that we were not spending enough on schools, or medicine, or housing even before we had a space program and there is no assurance that we would be doing even as much on those essentials if it weren't for the space program. In fact, the space program generates and stimulates the use of funds for those other essentials.
• THE THIRD QUESTION: What are we spending on space, and can we afford it?
The space budget for this year is about $5.5 billion. The expenditure estimates are about $3.8 billion. A clearer picture, however, may be obtained if we compare the budget this year with what it was just a short time ago. The over-all space budget for this year is three times what it was in 1961. This shows a tremendous rate• of acceleration.
I might add that the space budget for fiscal year 1964 is not yet in final form, but it is reasonable to conclude that the amount will be substantially larger than for fiscal year 1963. Increases are expected in both the defense space activities as well as the nondefense space activities. If we continue to build up the space program as we have been doing, it will not be long before it will be costing us, per capita, more than fifty cents per week. That is an investment which can readily be afforded, particularly since it is reasonable to assume that, over the same period of time, the average income in the US will increase much more than fifty cents per capita per week.
Yes, we can afford this expenditure and more, if necessary. Space programs do cost money, but they do not cause a strain on the economy. What does place a strain on the economy is wasting resources—not spending or directing those resources into productive methods and productive activities. The facts are that the space program will increase scientific knowledge, increase production, and cause the employment of more personnel, thereby strengthening our progress across a broad economic spectrum. The space program will increase both the size and the gross national product and its rate of growth.
Certainly, we can afford to engage in activities that will make us stronger and wealthier. Moreover, we cannot afford not to engage in these activities from an international point of view, from a national survival point of view, and from the point of view of assuming our proper responsibility in making use of our natural resources, inherent capabilities, and exploding technology.
It is a source of great amazement to me to find persons who believe that we cannot afford an energetic space program while assuming that the USSR can—and that country with only half as great a gross national product as we now have.
• QUESTION FOUR: Is there a space gap like the missile gap we heard so much about a short time ago?
First of all, 1 would point out that there was a missile gap, but it did not translate itself into the numbers previously predicted. Moreover, the threat of such a gap dissolved some of the lethargy in the US and caused us to get busy and help offset the predictions. There is a space gap in the sense that the Soviets have larger rocket engines now operational and are able to place larger payloads into orbit. They have also made substantial strides in other aspects of space technology. Our leadership in satellite applications to weather, communications, and navigation is all noteworthy, but it is not sufficient to fill in the gap in its most crucial aspects.
The numerical aspect of the gap is in size rather than in quantity of satellites as, in the latter, we have placed nearly four times as many into orbit as they have. A significant thing about the space gap is that it has military potential, as did the missile gap. Moreover, it is having some of the same effect on the US as did the missile gap; namely, it is stimulating us to do more faster. When one is behind in any important aspect of a race, it is foolish and dangerous to pretend otherwise.
• QUESTION FIVE: What are we spending on space for defense purposes and why are we not doing more?
The portion of the defense budget attributed to space for fiscal year 1963 is $1.5 billion. That is less than three percent of our total defense budget, but if properly applied it can get a lot of space accomplishment. It is often cited that the defense space budget is relatively small when compared with NASA's budget of $3.8 billion, but the difference is primarily due to the one large mission; that is, the lunar project, which involves so much in facilities, development and performance.
In addition to giving consideration to more money for defense in space, serious attention needs to be given continuously to getting more space competence from each dollar in the budget.
There are several reasons why we are not devoting more to space spending by the Department of Defense: (1) Many in this country as well as abroad fail to understand that US expenditures to keep the peace are as peaceful as any other expenditures; (2) Many civilians and military officials have wide divergences of views as to what the defense missions in space should be; (3) Defense advantages can and do come from space expenditures made by other agencies; and (4) Many haven't learned the lesson that blueprints and studies alone cannot meet aggression.
I would add that we should not minimize what is being done by Defense in space, just as we should not be satisfied with the rate of accomplishment.
• QUESTION Six: Why is there confusion as to what the United States is doing in space?
First of all, there is a tendency on the part of those who think more should be done to play down what is being done in order to make their point. I would also add that there are those who hold the mistaken belief that classification and secrecy conceal our activities from potential enemies, while what really happens is the concealment of the facts from our own people. It is also worth noting that a US failure in a space shot gets almost as much attention as a success, and would get even more attention if a fatality were involved. The Soviets have failures, but only their successes are advertised. I see no reason why, as general policy, we should not reveal the space failures of others as well as our own. I believe we could do a lot to clarify what we are doing, and I think we are competent to handle international issues should they arise from a frank and open policy on our part. Anyone who is critical of our space projects is, of course, free to engage in similar endeavors if he so chooses and has the ability to do so.
• QUESTION SEVEN: Do we have a national space policy, and if so, what is it?
Yes, we have such a policy. It has been expressed in legislation and in presidential messages and statements. The objective of our policy is to obtain and maintain leadership in space activities for the benefit of man's freedom, man's wellbeing, man's understanding, and man's scientific progress. The details of the policy are not quite so clear, as those who have studied our budgets and public documents have reason to know. It is clear, however, that our policy includes going to the moon during this decade. It includes developing an operational communications satellite system as well as navigation and meteorological systems on a worldwide basis. The specifics are less clear as to the roles of man in space and what can and should be done to maintain peace in outer space. This lack of clarity, however, is partly due to the difficulty of knowing what can be done and what cannot be done. Continuing efforts will be
made to clarify policy, while keeping it necessarily flexible.
• QUESTION EIGHT: Do the space accomplishments of the Soviets have military significance?
While I would not pretend to know what the Soviets will do with their growing space competence, I find several guidelines which are pertinent: (1) Never underestimate your opposition; (2) Never forget the Soviets' objective of world domination; (3) Do not minimize the military value of placing heavy objects in orbit and keeping men as well as devices in orbit for long periods; (4) Do not overlook the blackmail possibilities of weapons in space. The obvious conclusion is: A satellite does not have to contain a weapon to possess military significance. The Soviets' feats have indicated a space competence which has a direct bearing upon what is necessary to defend our country and to protect our own rights in space and on earth.
I conclude with this thought: We have better uses for our sand than to use it like the proverbial ostrich. The realities of the situation demand that we face the facts and meet fully the challenge that has been thrust upon US.—END
"The Air Force responsibility for US military space development is only a logical extension of its traditional mission and capabilities. . . Many of the strategic concepts that apply to operations in the atmosphere also apply in space.
USAF's Job in Space
By Gen. Bernard A. Schriever, USAF
I think it is obvious today that scientific, political, and military strength are more closely related than ever before. As long as the Soviets continue their drive toward world domination, their space capabilities will represent a real danger to free men everywhere.
The Air Force bears a clear responsibility for the planning and development that will enable the US to meet this threat. The Air Force task is to build and operate aerospace forces that are necessary for national security. These forces range all the way from the tactical weapons required for counterinsurgency operations to the strategic bombers and missiles of the Strategic Air Command. This mix of weapon systems enables us to make precise application of force wherever it may be directed by the President.
At one end of the scale the Air Force must be able to conduct operations only a few feet off the ground. At the other end of the scale, the Air Force must be able to conduct regular operations as far out in space as the national security requires. In today's panel we are concerned with this latter aspect of the Air Force mission, but it would be a mistake to view it in isolation.
The Air Force responsibility for US military space development is only a logical extension of its traditional mission and capabilities. . . . Many of the strategic concepts that apply to operations in the atmosphere also apply in space. As the advance of technology allows us to go farther onward and outward, many of the traditional Air Force missions will probably follow. We must be prepared to explore this new realm and to be able to cope with any new military challenge there.
Based on our present knowledge, certain satellite systems are feasible now, such as communications, weather prediction, navigation, early warning and similar functions, and they are under development. Additional military capabilities in space may prove desirable as technology and experience unfold.
This is the pattern that prevails in the progress of military aviation. Early pilots began simply by learning to fly and land airplanes. Only as they became skilled in flight did they learn the specific tactical and strategical application of the airplane. Spaceflight, I think, will evolve in the same manner. For this reason, the Air Force is concentrating much of its space effort on the development of basic space technology, such as structures, propulsions, guidance and control, maneuverable reentry vehicles, and aeromedical requirements for life support in the space environment.
These efforts are built on the scientific and engineering base created by the Air Force during many years of research and development. The materials, designs, and instrumentation used in space vehicles are often an outgrowth of work done in developing high-performance aircraft.
Perhaps few realize the increased pace of our military space activities; for example, so far during this calendar year, the Air Force alone has placed more earth satellites into orbit than have the Soviets since the first Sputnik five years ago. Also, much of the Air Force experience has been utilized directly to support the scientific efforts carried out in space under the direction of NASA, and in practice there is close cooperation at all levels between the Air Force and NASA. They use much of the same technology, many of the same facilities and basic hardware, and many of the same people. However, by its nature, the military portion of the space program has three distinctive aspects, and it would be well to keep them in mind. The first is a matter of urgency. If a potential Soviet military space threat does exist—and I am firmly convinced that it does—then our first duty is to provide for the security of our country.
The Soviet obsession with secrecy does not make it easy for us to know just what military hardware they are developing. But their basic intentions and their technical achievements are both evident. These alone justify the continued pursuit of an extensive and vigorous military space program.
Now, the second is a matter of operating requirements. Military requirements in space are properly oriented toward an operational capability. For example, military operations will demand reliable, relatively low-cost boosters that are capable of rapid launch and on a routine basis.
The third difference is technological. Space offers a unique environment for developments in technology of military usefulness. It may give the possibility for entirely new techniques of defense against ballistic missiles. This has already been mentioned.
And also, as Dr. Kantrowitz mentioned, space may provide the opportunities for new ways of controlling and directing energy. In fact, we do not begin to know the possibilities it may offer.
Space is an entirely new kind of environment, and for that reason has great promise and potential for national security. These are some of the promising developments which may evolve as space devices are designed and further tested.
We, in the Air Force, must continue to fulfill our responsibilities to provide for the national security needs, in the new realm in which we now live.—END
Can we really afford a vigorous space program? . . . Will "fallout" from the moon effort benefit national security? . . . How can we meet the potential Soviet threat from space? . . . What effect would multimegaton blasts in near space have on earth? . Is there a space gap?—These were some questions from the "Space and National Security" Symposium audience fielded by the panel . . .
Questions from the Audience & Answers from the Panel
QUESTION: What is General Schriever's reaction to Dr. Kantrowitz' top-priority for manned orbital assembly?
GENERAL SCHRIEVER: Well, I don't know that I would necessarily assign that number one priority, but we feel from a development point of view that a manned orbital station is a very important program for testing techniques, subsystems, and certainly developing the environment for man to operate usefully in space. I think such a station might well be assembled through the means that Dr. Kantrowitz mentioned. I firmly support the rendezvous, docking, transfer and assembly techniques that he has been a strong advocate of for a good many years.
QUESTION: Has NORAD presented specific requirements for passive and active defense against possible Soviet space systems?
AIR MARSHAL SLEMON: I think a brief answer to that is that very definitely we have presented some requirements which we think can be specifically stated with our present knowledge of the threat.
QUESTION: How much trouble is Midas experiencing and when can we expect a workable operational Midas system?
GENERAL SCHRIEVER: That's an easy one to answer. We have experienced difficulty in Midas in respect to sensors and with respect to stability control. We have made a number of detailed studies during the past year and a half—aimed toward simplifying the Midas system. We feel very strongly concerning a warning system, and there isn't any question in my mind about feasibility of it, and as far as the operational dates are concerned, I am not free to give that information.
QUESTION: Will the Congress continue to support a large budget for purely scientific effort if there is no military benefit, or if the military requirements can be better satisfied in other ways?
DR. WELSH: I do not draw any distinction between a military space activity and a scientific space activity. I consider the military space activity just as scientific as those that are being conducted by other agencies. Therefore, with the type of definition I have used, I feel that there will be definitely considerable support for an increased budget in space; both for the civilian activities and for the defense of military activities.
SENATOR CANNON: I might add a little to that I think that the taxpayers would not be inclined to continue and consistently maintain a large budget for purely scientific effort if it were clear that there was no military benefit or if the military requirements could be satisfied in other ways, because the enormity of our budget in this day and age is such that the taxpayers, while they are willing to support scientific effort, certainly are concerned first with national defense. That is evident by the large budget which we presently carry on, or presently appropriate and use for national defense purposes.
DR. WELSH: Might I just add that I certainly agree with what you say. I was drawing, however, a distinction between defense and security uses of space as against the nondefense and nonsecurity uses in space—rather than scientific and nonscientific, as I think you will get the greatest support for what the country thinks is absolutely essential—and I think that all the taxpayers feel security is essential.
QUESTION: Are the Soviets constantly reconnoitering the US with unmanned satellites?
AIR MARSHAL SLEMON: As we know, there are satellites going around up there as of now. We don't believe that now, with the state of the art, they are collecting information that would be too vital.
GENERAL SCHRIEVEK: Well, I don't know if they are or not. I don't see that they necessarily need to, because in an open society such as ours, we are pretty much of an open book.
SENATOR CANNON: The answer I would give to constituents is, consistent with a speech I made on the Senate floor last year, that you can buy all that information for a dollar. I don't know why they would want to put a satellite up there to reconnoiter.
QUESTION: Do you believe that fallout from the lunar program is the best way to assure the security of this country from and in space?
D. KANTROWITZ: Well, I would agree with most of the things that Ed Welsh has said about there being a very substantial fallout. However, I think that our program . . . suffers somewhat from the intense concentration on the one goal, and the one goal, as Dr. Welsh has said, is not so clearly military as it might be.
QUESTION: What happens after the successful lunar landing? In other words, what is the next thing we're apt to see?
GENERAL SCHRIEVER: We ought to have someone from NASA here. I don't know what they plan next. They have the deep-space probe plan, and other planets will be investigated, first by unmanned vehicles, and then by manned vehicles. But exactly what is in the plan beyond the lunar landing, I am not sure.
D. WELSH: The answer that General Schriever gave is the best answer that you can give. There are programs, of course, for exploration of planets, for space stations, and for deep-space probes. I would think that there would be an effort to increase our capability as far as our booster strength is concerned.
The moon is just one target and the closest one at hand, but there are efforts and programs that will be planned to go to the other planets as well.
QUESTION: What happens to the US program if the Soviets get to the moon first?
DR. WELSH: Then we'll get there second. But if we do get there second, we ought to get there as soon as possible after the Soviets. It would be serious if there were a long period between their landing and ours. That would show a lack of capability which the Russians would have shown they had. But we would continue with the program whether we are the first or the second.
QUESTION: The statement was made by Dr. Kantrowitz that it is urgent to commence earth orbital assembly programs. Is this not already under way with the Gemini program?
Da. KANTROWITZ: It is under way. It has been talked about for a long time, but it is not under way on what I would call a priority basis. We are not preparing now, for instance, for the multiple launching of the boosters we now have and could put into large-scale production. We are not building multiple launch bases that are necessary for this program.
We are not developing the capsules which would be needed to provide an orbital manned laboratory—an orbiting assembly station. We are behaving in a cautious manner. We are going to be sure that we can do this rendezvous, that we can do all these things—before we commit any substantial funds to this program—to this rendezvous program. But if we had been that cautious about the ICBM program we would not, today, have an ICBM.
QUESTION: In view of experience with Advent and Midas, shouldn't the military space program put less emphasis on quick achievements of operational hardware and more on advancing the necessary technology for possible future application?
DR. KANTROWLTZ: In view of the experience with Advent and Midas—I think when you can see a piece of hardware that would be useful, an attempt to achieve it at an early date is one of the best ways to rapidly advance this technology. In other words, the setting of realistic goals is the thing to do. I have no objection to any of these things. The thing that I tried to call attention to is a technique which I believe to be very powerful and which is missing essentially in our program.
QUESTION: Is manned orbital assembly confined only to low orbits of earth?
DR. WELSH: No. This is where it will be initially practiced and used, but I believe it has a value to be projected into higher orbit and into deeper-space explorations. We should be in a position to assemble in fairly low earth orbit as a launching base for further deeper-space probes so you will assemble and move farther, and you will move farther and assemble again.
QUESTION: What damage on earth would be done by exploding a 100-megaton weapon in orbit.
DR. KANTROWITZ: That is a very interesting question, of course. There is a clear military point to be made here. By the time you get to 100 megatons you do get to the point where an explosion in space would do damage on the surface of the earth. That means that we have to be prepared to defend against such explosions. This requires study of new defense systems.
QUESTION: What is the status of the Aerospace Plane and the Manned Satellite Interceptor?
GENERAL SCHRIEVER: The Aerospace Plane is really just a concept. It is a concept initially of taking off with a machine that looks like an airplane and actually goes into orbit with a single phase. We are not confining our thinking at the moment to this possible approach. We are also thinking of it possibly as a two-stage vehicle giving us reusable hardware. There is no such program as Aerospace Plane, although we have identified a great many applied research and advanced technology projects which have a direct application to advancing technology to the point where such a vehicle, either one-stage or two-stage, might be feasible from a technical standpoint.
We are very interested in such a program, and such a concept, but it certainly is not something that is just around the corner.
As to the Manned Satellite Interceptor, we have never had such a program. Of course, we have had many studies and plans that involve using a man in the satellite inspection role—but we have not had such a program beyond the study and planning stage.
SENATOR CANNON: That does not mean that it could not be conceived?
GENERAL SCHRIEVER: No, we think that there would be normal evolution to that type of system.
QUESTION: What is the timetable for the establishment of an adequate space defense system and isn't it imperative that we accomplish this objective in this decade?
DR. WELSH: To give a very quick answer—it should be done just as soon as it possibly can be done. There should be funds made available for it, and it should be given priority. It's not a question of this decade or the next decade. It should be this decade if we can.
AIR MARSHAL SLEMON: I might add an observation in regard to the ICBM threat. Sometimes people do not include the ICBMs as a space vehicle. It does come to us through space, however, and we have the opportunity to destroy it, or attempt to destroy it, in space or as it enters the earth's atmosphere.
With respect to the need of time to deal with the threat—it is urgent, it is imperative, and if we had it today we would feel happier than if we had it next week. Our great fear is that the Russians would inform us in the not-too-distant future that they have a defense against the ICBM; whereas we have not, and this would place us in a very delicate position. The need is urgent—it is certainly not a question of the next decade, but as soon as possible.
GENERAL SCHRIEVER: I think the question implies that there is a static situation—that you have a particular threat and it stays that way, and that you build a defense capability to it and respond to that threat, and then you are all set.
From a military standpoint we will have to continue, and perhaps accelerate, a vigorous program to stay abreast of the threats that may be developing in space in the future. But it is a dynamic situation, and certainly it does not involve just this decade or the next twenty years, but involves the next twenty, thirty, fifty years.
QUESTION: What about the claim of Dr. Jerome Wiesner [Presidential science adviser] and others that too many scientific resources and too many people may be used in space and military programs to the detriment of the economy?
DR. KANTROWITZ: I believe that space and military programs have given our science, and our technology especially, tremendous impetus. We find that the source of our real strength in this area, our educational system, has been sharply and effectively upgraded as a result of the ICBM and the space program. We find that technology that has been developed, particularly in the ICBM program, has already spread to large segments of our economy. It is greatly increasing our gross national product in a way that it can support a larger scientific and technological development.
QUESTION: Why isn't more being done to accelerate the Saint and the Dyna-Soar programs?
GENERAL SCHRIEVER: During the past year the Dyna-Soar, now X-20, has stabilized to a very great degree. We have moved from what was to have been a suborbital system to an orbital system. We have settled on a booster, the Titan III, to be used with the Dyna-Soar, and I think at the moment we have a balanced program to be used with the Dyna-Soar where all the elements should come out at about the same time. We are paced at the moment by the Titan III booster, and if everything goes well we should initiate our first flight with the Dyna-Soar in 1964. So I think the Dyna-Soar program is proceeding as well as I would expect it to.
On the Saint program, that is a terminology that is no longer used for the satellite inspector system. This has been under constant review for the last year, and I can assure you that there are an awful lot of questions about this program that make it legitimate for reviews of the kind that we have had.
I would like to see the satellite inspector program proceed more vigorously, and I know that such proposals will be given due consideration in the very near future.
QUESTION: Air Marshal Slemon discussed the problems of defending the North American land mass against attacks from space. It would also seem appropriate to consider ways and means of defending our Midas and Samos satellites from possible enemy attack.
DR. KANTROWITZ: I think it is worth mentioning—and this was something that I tried to bring out obliquely in my talk—that the great emphasis that has been placed on the high vulnerability of satellites, and I believe they are vulnerable when they operate at low altitudes, does not take into account the immensity of space.
When you have objects in low orbit around the earth, it is very easy to reach that vicinity. It does not require the same velocity. For example, the kind of missiles that have been used in air defense applications would be capable of intercepting low-altitude satellites. They do not need the velocity of the satellite, they only need the altitude.
This situation changes radically when you go to thousands of miles in space, where the achievement of these altitudes requires energies comparable with satellite energy. At that point, defensible satellites become a possibility.
QUESTION: Could Dr. Welsh give several specific examples of the lunar program, and how it has been useful to military space activities?
DR. WELSH: Well, the lunar program is of course just under way, but I have seen that it has become a basis for developing a bridge between the Department of Defense and NASA where there is increasing cooperation between those two important agencies, as might not have been taking place were it not for this major lunar program, and I think that General Schriever is quite well aware of this. In fact, he has been instrumental in encouraging this high degree of cooperation.
I think the technology that is being developed in the large boosters will have value to the military missions as well. The exchange of scientific information and the exchange of actual experience in communications satellites, for example, will be of benefit to the military, with NASA being first, in the actual experiment because of the much more complicated requirements the communications satellites will have for defense purposes.
But you can list a whole series of examples of growing exchange, and increasing exchange of information, increasing coordination, and increasing use of actual personnel between NASA and the Department of Defense, all of which I think have been stimulated by the lunar program.
QUESTION: Does the Air Force contemplate a need for escape velocity missions, or missions to high lunar altitude orbit, in support of the objectives in space or national security?
GENERAL SCHRIEVER: I certainly do not in the immediate future—but I would say in a decade from now we would perhaps be interested in escape velocities and orbits that are quite a bit outside of the earth orbits which we are considering now. And I even consider the twenty-four-hour orbit of roughly 24,000 miles of synchronous satellite to be a low earth orbit.
QUESTION: Do we know anything of significance of Russian propulsion systems other than those using chemical, liquid or solid fuel resources? Do we know anything of their work with laser systems?
Da. KANTROWITZ: I really am not such a good source of information here. But I do know that they have work in progress on electrical propulsion systems. I don't know whether they have work in progress on nuclear propulsion systems. I do know that they have been working actively in lasers and they have laid claims to the achievement of very powerful lasers, and they have come out with some interesting new ideas about laser systems, which indicate that it is an active source of study over there. The fact that these ideas were not held secret by them is interesting in itself, and perhaps means that they have not as yet taken these developments very seriously from a research point of view.
GENERAL SCHRIEVER: I don't know anything concerning their work with nuclear-rocket propulsion, and I can't add anything to what Dr. Kantrowitz said concerning the others. But I do think that it is worth adding that where we don't know, or where we are not in a position to report, it is well to assume that they are working on advanced systems, and we ought to push ours for that reason, as well as for other reasons.
QUESTION: If there never was a bomber gap and there never was a missile gap, why should Americans believe the Air Force about a potential space gap? Isn't this crying wolf once too often?
DR. KANTROWITZ: I don't know that there is evidence now that there never was a missile gap. I believe there was a time when the Russians were closer to an ICBM than we were. To that extent there was a missile gap. About the bomber gap, I don't remember too much. Others may remember more about that.
DR. WELSH: In my little statement I asserted that I had thought that there had been a missile gap—in fact, my language was quite clear. There definitely was one. I said that it did operate to an advantage in a sense, because it stimulated us to work a little faster than we otherwise would have. I also said that there is a space gap particularly in the sense of the confidence that they have which we do not have at this point to send large objects into orbit. There is a space gap in some respects, and I see no reason why anyone should be confused by either one.
GENERAL SCHRIEVER: I definitely think there was a missile gap. They were way ahead of us when we started in earnest on our missile programs. Because numbers apparently haven't materialized, that doesn't mean that back in '57 or '58 there was not a gap. I can assure you that those of us who were Out on the firing line and developing those missiles certainly got enough pressure, and I think that pressure helped to develop our missiles a lot sooner than otherwise might have been the case.
As far as the space gap is concerned, I have heard no Air Force officer say that there is a space gap. I think that what we are really saying is that we ought to do those things necessary in the interest of national security. I don't know that anyone has mentioned "space gap." I certainly have not, and I haven't heard anyone else mention that.
SENATOR CANNON: I, for one, believe that there was a definite missile gap. I think there is a space gap in certain areas. I don't think we can evaluate it over-all and say that because we are ahead in certain areas and they are ahead in others, that there may not be a gap. If we have an unequal capability in certain areas of importance, then, to me, that means a gap. And that is the reason that I disagree a little on the terms. But certainly I don't think that any of us do not claim that they do not have a greater capability than we have in certain specific areas.
DR. KANTROWITZ: May I make a point here? If the presumption that I made—that the Russians are close to a rendezvous capability—proves to be correct, they will, on achieving the rendezvous and the orbital assembly capability, have thereby achieved a larger ability to put payload into orbit than any of the boosters that we now are even thinking about. That is a gap.
SENATOR CANNON: I would like to throw in a question of my own here at this point. It would seem to me that the fact that they have demonstrated a very capable rapid-fire technology, which would permit them to do just the thing that Dr. Kantrowitz has talked about, tends to indicate that they are considerably ahead of us. Now, would any of the panel care to comment on our respective positions with relation to rapid-fire capability, which, of course, would be the first essential element of the problem that Dr. Kantrowitz has raised.
Da. KANTROWITZ: I would like to comment that if you set up the orbits to the best advantage, it doesn't require any fantastic accuracy in launching to achieve rendezvous, say, in one day. The numbers I worked out once turned out to be some 4.7 hours' accuracy, which you must have in order to achieve rendezvous within one day.
SENATOR CANNON: Well, may I follow that up by saying—do we have anything near that launch capability today?
DR. KANTROWITZ: I think that the Titan II is nearly capable of doing that sort of thing—wouldn't you say?
GENERAL SCHRIEVER: Well, we, of course, have a very good capability of launching missiles on time on operational systems. We do take longer on our R&D countdowns, but we have been very successful on our operational countdowns. I don't think there is any question but that the Soviets are ahead of us in certain areas. I think that was expressed by everyone, following their recent Vostok III and IV. But I have just chosen a little different terminology in regard to the gap question—or, definition to the gap, than the other people have. In the missile business we were really talking about operational capability and numbers and I haven't quite in my own mind established the analogy that applies to the space business.
But I don't want to give anyone the impression that I am complacent and that they are not ahead of us in certain areas. They certainly are.
SENATOR CANNON: What is your position regarding recoverable first-and/or second-stage boosters?
GENERAL SCHRIEVER: I think it is one of the most important aspects of our space program. I think we have got to pursue this in a very vigorous way, and this is one of the areas where what I term "advancing technology," or getting fundamental capability, is most important. I think from a military standpoint, the ability to reuse hardware is very, very important indeed.
QUESTION: Is the Russian early warning system anything like as good as our own?
AIR MARSHAL SLEMON: The Russians have made great strides in improving their warning capability during the last eight years. They have made tremendous strides in improving their radar, even in the five years that I have been in NORAD. Their radars at the outset were relatively unsophisticated, their communications system likewise. But it is significant, we believe, that they have put a tremendous amount of effort into improving their over-all air defense system—into improving it very significantly.
QUESTION: Is a more powerful booster the only factor of Soviet superiority in our space competition?
DR. KANTROWITZ: I would like to make just one statement about that. It is my conviction that the cliché that has gained such wide currency in this country that the only thing we are lacking is more powerful boosters—that this cliché has been very damaging to us, and that it has prevented us from looking carefully and candidly at the boosters which we now have. If we had started a manned orbital assembly program three or four years ago, we would not be worrying now about booster thrust. We would be in a position now where we could use something like the country's capability for producing boosters which in a year or two will amount to something in the area of millions of pounds per year in orbit, which is far beyond the capability of any single booster.
SENATOR CANNON: Carrying that just a little farther, would you feel that it is too late to emphasize [orbital assembly] now, and have it come in, in a concurrent time frame, for example, with the larger boosters?
DR. KANTROWITZ: It is still possible to reach the level, say, the kind of level needed for a moon vehicle; that is, two to three hundred thousand pounds, in low orbit. It is still possible to reach that level of payload in a low orbit by 1964 or 1965—several years before it will be reached with the large boosters.
QUESTION: Is NASA-Air Force interface a two-way street—that is, are military requirements being fed into NASA planning?
GENERAL SCHRIEVER: Military requirements per se are not fed into NASA requirements. We do have an interface with NASA. We have recently established the Deputy for Manned Spaceflight. He is deputy to me—General Ritland. And he has an office that is located, physically, with NASA in Washington. And one of his functions and responsibilities is to participate in NASA's programing and planning activity, and in so doing there is a complete interchange in Air Force and NASA, so I would say that for practical purposes our requirements are fed into NASA, but not in the form of military requirements, and that is the form in which I have interpreted the question to be stated.
QUESTION: Is NASA planning its own logistics system apart from that which would support military space systems?
DR. WELSH: NASA does plan to rely on logistic support from the Defense Department, and is so doing at the present time.
QUESTION: We have been told throughout the meeting about the horrible consequences if the Russians grab control of space, yet all the hardware systems suggested in this connection sound like something out of the Land of Oz, and not the 1960s. How can the Air Force justify a large military role in space on the basis of such tenuous notions particularly in comparison with such ground delivery systems as Polaris and Minuteman?
DR. KANTROWITZ: I said, during my remarks, that I don't now see a space weapon capable of upsetting the ballistic missile stalemate. However, I think that it is incumbent upon us to recognize, at this vital time, something which has not been recognized enough in the past—namely, we are very restricted in our ability to see the future. The importance of the ICBM was not visible to us in 1950. Its vast importance as a weapon was not then visible. In a similar way, I think that it is incumbent upon us to recognize now that our ability to respond quickly when the ideas become clear, and our ability to achieve the really new concepts, as quickly as our adversary, is going to be the key to survival. For these reasons the Air Force, as part of its responsibility to the country, needs to very carefully see to it that we do everything we can to understand this vision and to expand it, and to develop the capabilities rapidly to respond.
QUESTION: Is the American public being told enough about our military space activities?
DR. WELSH: I would just simply comment that my answer would be "No." I think that we sometimes go a little far on this business of keeping information from the American public. I am not talking about specific detailed information, but keeping information on just what we are doing. It is my judgment that our allies and so-called neutral nations would be much more impressed with us if they were aware as to just how much we are doing. And I think the American public would be much more impressed and eager to support us if they thought there were vigorous programs under way. So my broad general answer is that the American public needs to know even more than it is getting.
QUESTION: Do those who are well informed on Russian technology feel that their instrument capability compares either better than, or equivalent, to our own with that of our allies?
DR. KANTROWITZ: I think that the general impression that we can gather of Russian technology is that it is only in the areas on which the Russians have decided to concentrate, that they even come close to matching us. Now these areas, as you all well know, are hydrogen bombs, missiles, and space.
If you look across the board at other areas of technology the areas where there is any real comparison are very few and far between.
QUESTION: When the Russians orbited the two Vostoks last month, Americans were told that the feat was fraught with grave military implications. Yet, when the Jet Propulsion Laboratory adjusted the course of the Venus probe at 1.5 million miles, nothing was said of the military implications. What is the reason for the double standard in evaluating American versus Russian space shots?
DR. WELSH: Well, I am not sure I recognize the double standards in that particular illustration. I think that we did give a fair amount of attention to the significance of our ability to adjust the Venus shot. But since the United States does not have an aggressive space program, in the sense of threatening the peace or security of other nations in the world, there really wasn't any effort made nor was there any need to assign military meaning to the Venus shot.
On the other hand, the Soviets do have a record of being very interested in aggression, and therefore their conquests in space need to be associated with that possibility. I think that there isn't very much of a comparison on what we did in the Venus shot and the almost-rendezvous activity of the Soviets with their Vostoks.—END
SEN. HOWARD W. CANNON, panel moderator, was elected to the US Senate as a Democrat from Nevada in 1958. He is a member of the Senate Space and Armed Services Committees, a brigadier general in the Air Force Reserve, and a decorated World War II air veteran. A lawyer and native of Utah, he served in important civic, professional, and service posts in Nevada prior to his election to the Senate.
DR. ARTHUR KANTROWITZ is Vice President of the Avco Corp. and Director of the Avco-Everett Research Laboratory at Everett, Mass. A native New Yorker, he received his doctorate in physics from Columbia University. He is known for his research in physics of gases and for his pioneering applications of shock tubes to gas problems.
AIR MARSHAL C. ROY SLEMON, Royal Canadian Air Force, is Deputy Commander in Chief, North American Air Defense Command, and former Chief of Staff of the RCAF. Air Marshal Slemon has served continuously with the RCAF since its creation in 1924. During World War II, he organized the all‑Canadian Bomber Group and was Deputy Air Officer and Commander in Chief of the RCAF overseas.
DR. EDWARD C. WELSH IS Executive Secretary of the National Aeronautics and Space Council, top advisory policy group on space policy to the President, chaired by the Vice President. A native of New Jersey, Dr. Welsh holds a Ph.D. in economics from Ohio State University. He has held a number of high government economic posts and is recognized as a leading architect of the postwar Japanese recovery. He has also taught economics on the university level. For a number of years he was associated with Sen. Stuart Symington, and played significant roles in congressional inquiries into defense posture.
GEN. BERNARD A. SCHRIEVER, USAF, German-born and Texas-raised, is Commander of the Air Force Systems Command, and was chief of the Air Force ballistic missile development program during the mid-and late-fifties. He holds a degree in aeronautical engineering from Stanford University and served in the Southwest Pacific during World War II.
See what senior leaders had to say at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla.
Find out what senior Air Force and industry leaders had to say at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium.
AFA's Air Warfare Symposium kicked off Wednesday and runs through Friday. Follow Air Force Magazine's coverage of the show online and via social media by following us on Twitter,
Flickr, or by using
Tweets by @AirForceMag