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tee is focusing on our overall goals of (1) maintaining NASA as a leader in the development and application of advanced technology and management practices which contribute to significant increases in both Agency and National productivity and quality; (2) identifying areas where NASA practice is behind the state-of-the-art in productivity and quality and to initiate actions to effect improvement; and (3) enhancing awareness among management, the workforce and our contractors of the need to achieve increases in our productivity. We are already moving on some specific productivity initiatives in reducing paperwork throughout the Agency, in introducing common and shared administrative automatic data processing systems and coordinating an Agency-wide plan for information through office automation.
Finally, I am pleased to point out that, even with the significant civil service personnel reductions in fiscal year 1982, we were able to improve the ratio of minority and female professional employes in the NASA workforce. Last year the ratio of minority professionals in the workforce rose from 8.4 percent to 8.7 percent, and for females in professional position from 11.6 percent to 12.2 percent. Consequently, minority and female professionals now make-up 19 percent of NASA's professional workforce and 28.7 percent of the total workforce.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I believe that NASA's fiscal year 1984 budget request represents a well-balanced program which fully funds the Space Transportation efforts, provides for continuing programs in Science, Applications, and Aeronautics, and reflects several important new Research and Development initiatives. This request also reflects, significantly, an augmented Construction of Facilities program, and a stabilized NASA civil service workforce level. I trust that the Commi tee will recognize this as a balanced and healthy proposal, which reflects the Administration's commitment to a vital U.S. civilian space program, and that the Committee will fully support NASA's proposed fiscal year 1984 budget.
Questions submitted by Senator Gorton during the Senate
Question 1: In January the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) submitted to NASA a list of recommendations which included the redesign of the Space Shuttle main engine turbomachinery and landing gear, tires and brakes. We are also aware of the multiple problems on Shuttle STS-6. What is NASA's policy for correcting these difficiencies? Does the $100 million budgeted for spare parts in the FY 1984 budget provide for redesign of any parts that are considered unsafe or are unreliable or for purchase of current design parts only?
Answer 1: We are currently in the process of assessing each recommendation of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) and we have not formulated final responses to the recommendations. However, our current program plan includes activities which address many of the items in the ASAP report.
The SSME Program Plan for FY 1984 includes a small initial investment for SSME life improvements and engineering redesigns of critical life limiting components of the engine. The turbomachinery identified in the ASAP report is one of the planned areas of redesign activity for FY 1984. The initial funding for this redesign effort is at a level of $4 million for FY 1984.
The landing gear, tires and brakes as originally designed were marginal especially in light of the increased orbiter landing weights, especially the abort landing weights, under worse case crosswind conditions. Improvements have been incorporated in the original design. The main tire ply rating was increased from 28 to 34 and a spacer has been added to prevent axle deflections from damaging the brakes. Protective steel covers are planned for the brake rotor lugs prior to STS-7.
The improvements were designed to remove landing gear from the marginal category. Tests and analyses are now being conducted to verify the gains these improvements offer for maximum proposed landing loads. Should the test and analyses indicate the need, further improvements will be made as required.
Question 2: Your testimony indicates that the FY 1984 budget supports a four-orbiter fleet, "with enough structural and subsystem spares to make certain that the fleet is able to survive serious delays or accidents".
c. Does the present launch slippage of STS-6 qualify as serious?
d. Will the $100 million in the budget as spares be fully adequate to prevent launch slippages of two-three months? If not, what would be an appropriate funding level to prevent such delays?
which caused An accident of or tails, delays as the replaced. The
A serious delay or accident would be one that is major in nature. An accident major structural damage is one example. this type causing damage to wings examples, would result in serious structural element would have to be structural spares procurement program included in the NASA FY 1984 budget is designed to lessen the impact of such an accident as the structural part would be readily available for use.
A serious delay could also be caused by the unexpected breakdown of a major integral system which would impair the orbiter's ability to fly without replacement or repair of the system. Replacement of such a system could require significant effort, potentially involving systems analysis, engineering and redesign.
b. Total loss of an orbiter would certainly represent a serious delay or accident as there would likely be a period of no-flights while investigations and analysis were made to determine the cause and to ensure that no generic fault was present which would endanger the remaining fleet. Should a total loss Occur and a replacement orbiter is required, the availability of the structural spares, discussed in answer 2a. above, would substantially reduce the time necessary to build an additional orbiter.
c. The delay on STS-6 is viewed by NASA as serious but obviously in a different context from the serious delays and accidents discussed above. Delays of the type now being experienced have impacts on the flight schedule, on costs and on user confidence. However, we believe the STS-6 problems are still part of the STS learning process and should not be viewed as serious STS faults.
d. There is a total of $420 million planned for structural spares over five years with $100 million in
the FY 1984 budget. These spares would be available to support repairs to an orbiter in case of major structural damage. They will not prevent slippages of two-three months as is occurring on STS-6 as problems of this nature would not benefit from the availability of structural spares. However, our logistics program is designed to provide adequate spares support to prevent slippages due to the need for normal spare parts.
What are the prospects that Department of Defense (DOD) might require that an orbiter be reserved for its own missions? If there are such prospects, when might such a decision have to be made?
Answer 3: NASA and DOD have always recognized the policy of interchangeability of orbiters for missions and launch sites. The dedication of orbiters would more likely be done for mission classes to enhance turnaround efficiency. In the later 1980's, based on traffic requirements, an orbiter may be reserved for use at the Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) launch site where the majority of the missions are sponsored by the DOD. However, the orbiter would still be interchangeable for use at Cape Canaveral as dictated by mission and schedule needs.
Question 4: Under what circumstances would you expect DOD to "bump" STS-9 to assure the scheduled launch of STS-10?
Answer 4: We do not expect to "bump" STS-9 under any of the options under consideration. STS-9 utilizes Orbiter 102 while STS-10 uses Orbiter 099. The STS-9 Spacelab mission is keyed to the availability of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) capability and to science constraints posed by orbital mechanics.
If STS-9 is not launched as currently scheduled in late September or early October, it would probably slip to a launch slot beyond STS-10.
Question 5: Ariane has targeted 30 percent of the market for launch vehicle activity. Has NASA targeted a percentage of this market as an appropriate market share?
Answer 5: No, NASA has not yet articulated a comparable market share target. The Ariane goal of achieving 30 percent of the market for launch vehicle activity is most probably aimed at the commercial satellite market; the commercial satellite market itself represents about one-fourth of all Shuttle flights, with DOD about one-half and NASA being roughly one-quarter.
Question 6: What would be the cost of a fifth orbiter if procurement were initiated in FY 1983? In FY 1984? In FY 1985?
Answer 6: At present, there is no authorization to procure the fifth orbiter in FY 1983, and NASA has not requested such an authorization to proceed in FY 1984. Assuming that the Congress authorized appropriated funds in FY 1983 for the fifth orbiter, it is judged unlikely that any significant level of activity could be attained in FY 1983 due to procurement lead times. The cost of a fifth orbiter, (without any supporting systems that would be required) if procurement were initiated in either FY 1983 or FY 1984, would accordingly be approximately the same--$1.8 billion. An FY 1985 decision to proceed would involve a commitment to approximately $1.9 2.0 billion in total procurement cost.
Question 7: How do the Government estimates for Shuttle payload demand anticipate private commercial use?
Answer 7: The non-Federal demand for Shuttle use encompasses two perspectives: (1) the near-term demand comprised of firm launch requests, and (2) the longer range anticipated demand evolving from a continuation of near-term commitments and other programs now in the development phase.
Specifically, the near-term commitments are dominated by the operational communications satellite business. These payloads constitute the equivalent of up to four to five Shuttle launches per year in the mid to late 1980's. The near-term also includes noncommunications commitments, principally in the materials processing arena, amounting to one-half to a full equivalent Shuttle launch per year for research and development purposes.
Some optimistic long-range projections include a continuation of launches for near-term communications satellite customers and a gradual growth of new communications satellite customers as the direct broadcast, video conferencing and other systems are perfected. In the decade of the 1990's, this demand is optimistically projected to grow to six equivalent Shuttle launches per year. Other launch demands are expected to arise from the materials processing developments currently underway. This demand may add additional Shuttle flights to the overall non-Federal annual launches. Therefore, through the 1990's some optimistic projections show as many as five to six Shuttle launches will be required to accommodate demand.