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(The biographical sketches of Dr. Newell and Mr. Cortright are as follows:)
HOMER E. NEWELL
Associate Administrator for Space Sciences and Applications, NASA
Dr. Homer E. Newell is Associate Administrator for Space Sciences and Applications in NASA Headquarters. He was the Director of the Office of Space Sciences from November 1, 1961, until he assumed his present position November 1, 1963. Previously he was Deputy Director, Space Flight Programs.
As head of the Office of Space Sciences and Applications, Dr. Newell administers the following NASA program areas: Bioscience, communication and navigation, lunar and planetary, meteorological, manned space science, grants and research contracts, geophysics and astronomy, and launch vehicles and propulsion.
An internationally known authority in the field of atmospheric and space sciences, he is the holder of the American Rocket Society's Pendray Award for 1958 and the 1960 Space Flight Award, granted annually by the American Astronautical Society to the person who contributed most to the advancement of astronautical sciences.
He joined NASA in October 1958 from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory where he was Acting Superintendent of the Atmosphere and Astrophysics Division. In this position he was also the science program coordinator for Project Vanguard, the U.S. scientific earth satellite program for the International Geophysical Year.
Dr. Newell was born in Holyoke, Mass., and earned both B.A. and M.A. degrees in teaching at Harvard University and a Ph. D. in mathematics at the University of Wisconsin in 1940. He was awarded a doctor of science (honorary) degree by Central Methodist College, Fayette, Mo., on September 6, 1963.
From 1940 to 1944 he was an instructor and later assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Maryland, and a ground instructor in navigation with the Civil Aeronautics Administration from 1942 to 1943. From 1951 to 1958, as lecturer in mathematics for the University of Maryland, Dr. Newell participated in the NRL-University of Maryland off-campus education program by teaching graduate courses in mathematics to NRL and other Government employees.
Dr. Newell joined the Naval Research Laboratory in 1944, and became head of the Rocket Sonde Branch in 1947. In this position, he was in charge of the upper atmosphere research program of the NRL. In 1955 he was named Acting Superintendent of the Atmosphere and Astrophysics Division.
His scientific committee memberships have included the Special Subcommittee on the Upper Atmosphere of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (1947-51), and the Rocket and Satellite Research Panel (formerly Upper Atmosphere Rocket Research Panel) since 1947. He was chairman of the Rocket and Satellite Research Panel in 1959 and 1960. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Panels on Rocketry and the earth satellite program for the IGY, and was chairman of a special committee of the Rocketry Panel for planning and organizing this country's IGY sounding rocket program at Fort Churchill in Canada. In addition, Dr. Newell serves on several committees and working groups of the Committee on Space Research of the International Council of Scientific Unions, of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, and of the International Scientific Radio Union.
Dr. Newell is the author of numerous scientific articles and seven books ranging from technical works to popular treatments of space science and rockets. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Research Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is president of the Section on Planetary Sciences of the American Geophysical Union.
Dr. Newell and his wife and their four children live in Washington, D.C.
EDGAR M. CORTRIGHT
Deputy Director, Office of Space Sciences and Applications, NASA
Edgar M. Cortright was appointed Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Sciences and Applications on November 1, 1963. In this position, he shares responsibility with the Associate Administrator for Space Sciences and Applications, Dr. Homer E. Newell, in planning and directing all of NASA's programs for the unmanned exploration and exploitation of space.
These programs include all lunar and planetary probes, geophysical and astronomical satellites and probes, biological satellites, meteorological satellites, communication and navigation satellites, and the development and use of launch vehicles through the Atlas-Centaur class. In addition, the launch program includes the administration of a supporting university research and training program. The Office of Space Sciences and Applications is also responsible for the institutional management of the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.; the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.; the Wallops Flight Station, Wallops Island, Va.; and the Pacific Launch Operations Office, at the Pacific Missile Range, Calif.
From November 1961 to November 1963, Mr. Cortright served in a similar capacity as Deputy Director of the Office of Space Science, which has now been expanded to include space applications and the management of the aforementioned research centers and stations.
Prior to November 1961, Mr. Cortright was Assistant Director for Lunar and Planetary Programs, Office of Space Flight Programs. In this capacity he directed the planning and the implementation of NASA's unmanned lunar and planetary program including such projects as Mariner, Ranger, and Surveyor. Before holding that post, he was Chief of Advanced Technology Programs where he directed initial formulation of NASA's meteorological satellite program including Projects Tiros and Nimbus.
Mr. Cortright joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the predecessor of the NASA, as an aeronautical research scientist on the staff of the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory in 1948. From 1949 to 1954, he was head of the Small Supersonic Tunnels Section; from 1954 to 1958, he was Chief of the 8-foot by 6-foot Supersonic Wind Tunnel Branch at Lewis. In January 1958, he was appointed Chief of the Plasma Physics Branch after attending Nuclear Reactor Training School at the Lewis Laboratory.
A native of Hastings, Pa., Mr. Cortright served as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1946. He earned a bachelor of aeronautical engineering degree in 1947 and a master of science in aeronautical engineering degree in 1949, both from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was awarded membership in the Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, Gamma Alpha Rho, and Pi Delta Epsilon honorary societies.
During his research career, before the establishment of NASA, Mr. Cortright specialized in supersonic aerodynamics, particularly problems related to air induction system design, jet nozzle design, and interactions of a jet with external airflow, and is the author of numerous technical reports and articles. He is an associate fellow of the Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences. He is a recipient of the Arthur S. Flemming Award for 1963.
Mr. Cortright is married to the former Beverly Hotaling. Mr. and Mrs. Cortright and their two children, Susan J. and David E., live at 6909 Granby Street, Bethesda, Md.
Dr. NEWELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. KARTH. Dr. Newell, I want to thank you very much for your statement.
I might suggest that at this time we recess until 2 o'clock this afternoon since it is now about 12 minutes of noon and the House goes into session. We would like to get permission so that we can sit during the regular order of business of the House this afternoon.
If there are no objections, we will now recess until 2 o'clock this afternoon, at which time Mr. Nicks will be with us.
(Whereupon, at 11:48 a.m., the subcommittee was recessed to reconvene at 2 p.m. the same day.)
Mr. KARTH. The meeting will come to order.
This afternoon we are privileged to have with us the Director of the Interplanetary Programs of the Office of Space Science and Applications, Mr. Oran Nicks.
Mr. Nicks had suggested that he could summarize his statement in about 20 minutes. I felt that, because there may be materials in the prepared statement that the subcommittee would otherwise not be familiar with, he proceed with the prepared statement. Unless there is objection, we will proceed in that fashion.
Mr. Nicks, welcome to the subcommittee, and thank you very much for taking time out from your busy schedule to be here. You may proceed, if you will.
STATEMENT OF ORAN W. NICKS, DIRECTOR, LUNAR AND PLANETARY PROGRAMS, OFFICE OF SPACE SCIENCE AND APPLICATIONS, ACCOMPANIED BY N. W. CUNNINGHAM, RANGER PROGRAM MANAGER, NASA, AND H. M. SCHURMEIER, RANGER PROJECT MANAGER, JPL
Mr. NICKS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Before proceeding, I would like to introduce Mr. N. W. Cunningham on my right. His name is Newton, but we call him Bill, program manager for Ranger, and Mr. H. M. Schurmeier on my left, whom we call Bud. Bud is the Ranger project manager at JPL on the Ranger. Before reviewing the Ranger program in detail, I should like to summarize some major points which are pertinent to the present investigation.
The Ranger concept of employing a basic spacecraft to carry different payloads was chosen because of a desire to amortize development experience and costs on all elements except the scientific payload, which must be tailored to the specific investigations desired at a given time. I believe the Ranger program has demonstrated the soundness of that concept. The Ranger VI carried the third type of scientific payload to be adapted to the Ranger, the spacecraft bus retained basic elements and the original concept throughout, and it performed its functions as intended.
It is also believed that the concept of multiple flights, divided into blocks aimed at accomplishing specified objectives, has been validated. The block concept was initiated because it was recognized that existing statistics on vehicle performance indicated the probability of 50 to 75 percent launch successes.
Although the realization of these facts was the basis of the planning process, it should be emphasized that we have tried to regard each spacecraft as if it were the only one we had, and have endeavored to achieve 100 percent success on each flight. Never has the "Ordnance
philosophy" of accepting a certain percentage of success been adopted. Mr. KARTH. I assume there is considerable disagreement with that statement.
Mr. NICKS. The Ordnance concept?
Mr. KARTH. If that is the Ordnance philosophy.
Mr. NICKS. Well, sir, I meant by that the philosophy of knowing that in a certain number of rounds there could be some percentage of defective rounds which when recognized calls for an increased number of shots to overcome that deficit. I didn't mean it in a derogatory sense at all. I think it is a very common method of providing
Mr. KARTH. I didn't mean to argue with that. My point was that I had heard considerable comment about the philosophy that had been adopted for the Ranger program, at least the initial four or five. The time schedule, for example, was more important than reliability, and from that standpoint I would say that perhaps it did fit into the Ordnance philosophy.
Mr. NICKS. I think, sir, that our approval might have been challenged because we did have three firings the first year of the Ranger program. However, as you heard this morning, the first two of those spacecraft seemed to work satisfactorily. We knew what was wrong with the launch vehicle and were able to fix it, so we didn't have reason to hold up the regular schedule which had been set. After Ranger IV and Ranger V, we have had these long periods of waiting to try and fix what we thought was wrong. Although it may be that the later failures made it look as if we were firing without fixing things. There didn't seem to be anything to fix after the first two that there was not time enough to fix within the original schedule.
Mr. KARTH. I see. I am glad you made that explanation, because I have been aware of some criticisms which have been made. I think they have been official or semiofficial criticisms that the philosophy adopted generally was "shoot and hope it works" as opposed to extensive and reliable testing procedures prior to the launching of the craft.
Mr. NICKS. I hope we can give you a different viewpoint after this hearing today.
Although Mr. Cortright has covered this point, I should like to reiterate for the record that only four Rangers have been launched toward the Moon, and that two of these succeeded in hitting this difficult target. Because our goals were justifiably higher, the impacts alone were not satisfying. However, the evolutionary development of the launch vehicle system, the spacecraft, the operations techniques, and the deep space network has been marked.
The initiation of this major effort 5 years ago was accompanied with many tasks of organizing diffuse elements across the country into a project team. At the present time, my staff and I are in daily contact with project management personnel. I would like to make it clear that we have been and are participating in all major program decisions in accordance with established NASA policies for the management of such projects, and that we know what is going on within the project. Mr. KARTH. Could you tell us, Mr. Nicks, approximately when this policy was adopted?