Report on the Space Symposium, Colorado Springs

12 April 2001

from: Citizens for peace in Space

The U.S. Space Foundations's annual symposium is winding down. Yesterday 17 of us assembled on the tail end of an April blizzard to banner and hand out leaflets at the annual Space Symposium at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. We got the usual range of reactions from conference attendees: shunning, interest, agreement, sharp disagreement etc. We also had small bannering presences on other days of the 4 day meeting.

I have just finished a quick review of the handout materials that we were able to glean from the display hall which was for the second straight year closed to the public throughout the event. (We have our ways!)

In general the materials including those of the Armed Forces have moved on from the language of the Vision for 2020 and The Long Range Plan to the details of how the mission of domination is to be carried out. We got copies of the slick manuals of the Air Force Research Laboratory(including a map of all the branches, potentially a great organizing tool) the Naval Research Laboratory and the Army's Space and Missile Defense Battle Lab etc. etc. etc. I'll bring some stuff to share in Leeds.

I would like to close with some quotes from the opening address of the Symposium delivered by Albert E. Smith, Executive Vice President Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company: I have put some words in bold type for my own emphasis. Otherwise it's just like he delivered it.

Opening remarks: "Good morning. I am honored to help open this, the 17th National Space Symposium Conference. And thank you for that generous introduction. I'd like to thank you for demonstrating your support for the symposium and the Space Foundation.

The Space Symposium promotes our mission -- the mission of peace through strength in space -- the mission of furthering science and education, exploration and discovery -- and the mission of promoting commerce in space.

The Symposium also supports the needs of our military and civilian space leadership who make great personal sacrifices to further these missions.

I have spent most of my career working within this industry. As such, it is a real pleasure to speak to the people who have played a major role in providing this nation with the best space capability."

At that point the speaker launches into a long complaint about how there needs to be a big increase in military spending because the budget is at "its lowest level since 1936". He goes on to say that big companies like his are losing money etc etc. He sings the praises of high tech weaponry and then he begins a section entitled "A few words about space" I quote it in full "A key element in the next generation of force multipliers is space. We already rely on space assets for communication, navigation, surveillance, weather and early warning. But space can, and will play an increasingly important role in the future, The control of space will be the next theater to assure superiority and allow an entirely new order of battle to emerge.

I believe the recent work of the (Rumsfeld) Space Commission is right on track when it speaks to the critical role space will play in our future security. And getting there is certainly within our reach. The formula is fairly straightforward. Defense professionals are in place and coming on board. Select high-end R&D is moving forward but needs to be better focused, consistent with the recommendations set forth by the Space Commission.

Where possible in the areas of communications and reconnaissance we need to increase use of commercially available products to free up resources to apply to the next generation of technology and sophisticated systems. And we cannot forget that nothing in space is possible unless the reliable means to transport it there is available, Finally a migration to space theater control is mandatory.

So, what then is a realistic and meaningful space control scenario?

I believe we should view the future in phases, as part of a road map that has consistency and purpose. The first phase completes and augments our existing plans for early warning and surveillance, allowing us to better identify threats before they become hostile or if they do, allowing us to better direct existing forces to intervene.

The second phase allows us to better defend space assets, ensuring continued service in time of crisis.

And finally we see space as the ultimate answer to deterrence and selectivity in striking a new class of emerging threats, with systems such as SBL and MSP. Such a scenario is technically feasible and should be affordable for the country."

A typical, boring speech, but it set the tone for the conference and much of the literature of the various vendors. As Keith Hall director of NRO said a couple of years ago. "Space control, we have it , we like it and we 're going to keep it".

(See also Paying the Bills for Space Control - by Loring Wirbel)

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