REMARKS BY
PATRICIA GRACE SMITH
ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR
COMMERCIAL SPACE TRANSPORTATION
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION
AT THE
U.S. SPACE FOUNDATION'S
16TH NATIONAL SPACE SYMPOSIUM PANEL ON
"SOLVING THE INFRASTRUCTURE PUZZLE"
AT THE
BROADMOOR HOTEL
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
APRIL 6, 2000

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I want to thank Bill Knudsen and the Space Foundation for inviting me to participate with others who have joined me this moring to dare greatly. It is a great pleasure to be here once again at the Space Foundation's annual symposium. What a challenging theme you selected -- "Space - To Dare Greatly" -- and daring greatly is exactly what we are called upon to do in this, the 21st century.

"Solving the Infrastructure Puzzle," the subject assigned to our panel, requires that we first determine what the "infrastructure puzzle" is. If we define "infrastructure" broadly as all of the facilities devoted to carrying out space activities, equipment for testing, evaluating and tracking; AND the vehicles and launch sites that currently exist and those under development, used in these activities, the puzzle would seem to be what choices we need to make to ensure that the infrastructure of the future meets the complete needs of the space market that evolves. Our conversation with you this morning will focus on the launch facilities, the vehicle pieces of the infrastructure puzzle, and the need for a new environment that includes a commitment to a collaboration on the part of all interested parties, including federal and state, in order that ownership in the future space transportation system development can occur.

As the head of the FAA's commercial space transportation office, I dare say my pile of puzzle pieces is larger than any of my colleagues up here. We license both launch operations on federal ranges and launch operations at new commercial launch sites.

There are new launch vehicles and technologies on the horizon. The picture that emerges from the puzzle will be determined largely by which of the technical approaches to launch - particularly in the reusable area - succeeds. Will we need pads or runways? Or both? How will we achieve a level of reliability such that reusable launch vehicles will be safe enough to fly over populated areas? What are the appropriate safety standards? Where does the American public stand when it comes to commercial space risks? How do they define these risks? - just a few of the puzzle questions before us.

In the nearer term, what will the recently released White House Interagency Working Group Report on the Future Management and Use of the U.S. Space Launch Bases and Ranges mean to my office's role at the Federal ranges?

What will it mean to our ability to perceive the future and plan for it in a way that serves both the current and future needs of our industry? In what ways regarding space do we, or should we, have the capacity to lead the rest of the world in the global development or internationalization of space transportation? What will the infrastructure need to look like in the future in order to accommodate and safely and efficiently support multiple uses and users of space. There is no single right way to put the pieces of the puzzle together given our current state of knowledge, but working together in true partnership, I am confident that we can come up with a way that meets all our needs.

The infrastructure puzzle is a mystery and a concern. Besides the infrastructure of steel and concrete, there is what we might call the "virtual infrastructure" of government policies and decision-making. Earlier in this conference there was a panel on "Export Controls: The Immutable Laws of Unintended Consequences," which addressed one area in which the virtual infrastructure is playing a role, and having an effect.

We intend to get into some of these issues this morning. We invite and urge you to join us as we ponder this complex subject -- the infrastructure Puzzle. So, let's get on with it!

Questions for fellow panelists at USSF Infrastructure panel

For Mike McCulley

If you re-commercialize the use of the shuttle as has been suggested, how will you establish the launch costs so as to give the taxpayers a fair return without distorting the U.S. competitive launch industry?

With the recent suggestions that launch crew at KSC has lost experience and expertise as in other NASA operations, and particularly in regard to safety, will you be able to continue bringing the cost of operations down?

When the shuttle is fully engaged in the building and servicing of the space station, will there be enough capacity to do other critical missions such as servicing the Hubble Space Telescope?

For JoAnn Morgan

Given some of the aging problems, such as the wiring repairs that kept shuttles on the ground last year, can we really depend on the shuttles to meet their planned missions?

Are there upgrades possible that would increase the rate at which shuttles could be launched?

What do you think the possibilities are that at some point members of the public will be able to fly on the shuttle as Buzz Aldrin and some others have suggested?

For General Looney

Do you envision a time when the FAA will play a larger role in the safety mission at the Air Force Ranges as suggested in the IWG report?

Will the Air Force increase its use of licensed commercial launches to meet its needs as, for instance was done for the Navy EHF - UHF program?

What do you see as the role of the commercial launch providers in the evolution of the Eastern and Western Ranges in to more customer oriented operations?