US Space Foundation Military Space Morning 

6 April 1995 

Keynote Address 
[Appears to be speaker's text; some text in bold not reproduced 

Mr. Jeffrey K. Harris 
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Space) 
Director, National Reconnaissance Office 

Conference Theme: Vision and Reality: Face to Face 

Keynote Theme:   Tomorrow's Reality Can Be Brighter Than Today's 


  -- I appreciate the opportunity to address the Symposium -- a 
group devoted to space -- this year's theme, "Vision versus 
Reality" is a concept we all have to address daily -- this is 
particularly true in Washington where the Washington reality can 
easily affect the vision. 

  -- Vision of the future -- is the combining of needs with the 
projected availability of technology. My current responsibilities 
give me the distinct privilege to help focus the leading edge 
technologies that will serve as the basis for cost effective -- 
mission effective use of space into the new century. 

  -- Space has been an important contributor to our national 
security effort -- Over the last thirty years the United States has 
dominated the use of space for the support of US military forces 
and US foreign policy interests. During these three decades, the 
United States has developed program to develop unequaled 
capabilities to provide intelligence, navigation, surveillance, 
weather, and communications from space to support our warfighters 
in both peacetime and crisis. In the aftermath of the Gulf War. it 
was apparent to us, our allies, and our enemy how instrumental 
these space based capabilities were to our success. This knowledge 
base of experience provides us with some real world examples to 
further tune and enhance the support that can be made available 
from these systems -- a better understanding of how to shift from 
our Cold War based strategic emphasis to a regionally focused 

Key technologies will be instrumental to help meet our needs from 
space systems -- these technologies will allow us to address needs 
cost effectively -- needs that arc ever increasing. 

Today, the rapid advance of technology has redefined the meaning of 
obsolete in terms of months, instead of years.  Consequently, 
reality Is measured by the time it takes to fund, engineer, build, 
and integrate new capabilities into existing systems. Our challenge 
is to move quickly so we are able to incorporate and field the most 
modem technology. 

  -- Ted's Turner statement "Lead, follow, or get the hell out of 
the way" is sound advice for those of us responsible for 
implementing the visions we now have for space. 


Just a year ago Admiral Bill Studeman stood before you to discuss 
the role of space in the new world order. He spoke of the 
transition in the US Intelligence Community as we evolve from 
focusing on the monolithic threat of Soviet expansion, to policing 
an explosion of smaller crises around the world. 

  -- I watch with fascination and concern as the world is being 
redefined -- events that once occupied the foreign policy back 
burner are now of increased importance. These events used to be 
found in the "world" section of many papers; now they occupy the 
front pages of the New York Times. Relieved from the iron fist of 
old regimes -- regional struggles which were held back, can now 
erupt with unexpected frequency. 

  -- Looking at the past year, national security focus has been 
driven by: 

    - Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Rwanda 

    - Proliferation reared it ugly head in the form of North 
    Korea, the most isolated country in the world and a very 
    difficult foreign policy and intelligence challenge. 

    - The events in Chechnya and the stability of the Russian 
    government are being carefully watched, 

    - And don't forget your garden variety terrorists and plain 
    nuts.   The sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system 
    reiterated to us that the new world order is anything but 

To put this in Colorado terms, let me borrow from one of the 
Rockies biggest export-- COORS LITE--

As the NY Times suggested recently -- Perhaps we now have the Cold 
War Lite Era 

    - global skirmishes that are morally appalling and complex 
     but lack a clear embodiment of evil like Hitler or 
This may define the paradox of national security in the coming 

This uncertain future demands a global, flexible, and responsive 
SPACE RECONNAISSANCE architecture. Let's take a look at the 
EVOLUTION OF national security space. 

  -- As we establish the vision for our future, let's look back at 
the history that brought us here. Events of thirty years ago have 
framed some of the key drivers for military space. Can this 
experience help to define a path into the future? 

  -- And is today's plan consistent with tomorrow's reality? Only a 
clear understanding of how we got here will guide us to where we 
should be going. 

  -- The United States national security space programs grew out of 
necessity to clearly understand the Soviet's military capabilities 
and be an active (winning) participant in the space race. 

  -- The information demands of the missile gap and bomber gap 
could be partially satisfied with the very high technology U-2 
aircraft. In May of 1960 following the shoot down of Gary Powers, 
the critical need for intelligence demanded an alternative source. 

  -- "No one wants another Pearl Harbor" Eisenhower said prior to 
the Paris Summit of 1961. "This means we must have knowledge of 
military forces and preparations around the world, especially those 
capable of massive and surprise attacks." 

Luckily, the country had embarked on developing a credible space 
program in response to the launch of SPUTNIK in 1957. 

  -- Eisenhower's understanding of the need for space supremacy was 
the catalyst for the CORONA reconnaissance satellite and the APOLLO 
manned space program. 

  -- We started with small teams of dedicated people with great 
vision. We experienced a string of problems and, in several cases, 
disasters, from which we built two highly successful programs in 
the 1960s. 

  -- The APOLLO astronauts were the first men to the moon. The 
program helped restore national pride on an international stage in 
which the players raced to surpass technological barriers never 
crossed before. 

  -- Not until this year was the Intelligence Community allowed to 
publicly take credit for its contribution to the Cold War space 
race, with the declassification of the CORONA program by Vice 
President Al Gore on 24 February. 

  -- CORONA, which operated from 1960 -- 1972, achieved a number of 
firsts in space and helped set standards for the manned space 

    #1: CORONA launched 28 February 1959 mouse that relieved.... 

    #13:  1st object recovered from space, 12 August 1960 

    #14:   1st image ever taken from space, 18 August 1960  

    -- The CORONA vision that allowed this country to anticipate 
its need so successfully that the first image over a Soviet 
airfield from space based reconnaissance was only 109 days after we 
were forced to suspend overflight by the U-2. 

Look at the component parts -- a need 

                            -- a vision 

                            -- a leader 

                            -- resources 

                            -- determination to get the job done 

The CORONA pictures, guideposts of history, tell the story of . the 
program's success. 

  -- With the visual confirmation provided by CORONA'S imagery, we 

    - track hundreds of military targets in denied areas 

    -  understand the Soviet strategic capabilities 

    - track arms sales and activities of Soviet clients 

    - and ultimately make informed decisions on national security 
      matters, eliminating much of the previous guesswork 
    - The imaging resolution improved from 8 meters to 2 meters 
      over the 12 years it operated.  CORONA also provided the 
      first mapping of earth from space and the first stereo-
      optical data from space. 

  -- And if that wasn't enough, it was the first program to succeed 
with multiple reentry vehicles and the first reconnaissance program 
to fly 100 missions. 

  -- Over the next 18 months, more than 800,000 images representing 
the successes of CORONA and her sister programs, ARGON and LAYNARD, 
will become available to scientists and historians through the 
National Archives and the US Geological Survey. For those of you 
who enjoy statistics, that's approximately 2.1 million feet of film 
in 39,000 cans. 


  -- What are the lessons learned from this program, built by a 
small number of people on short deadlines? From CORONA we learned 
to empower small groups of people with the latitude to make 
decisions and sometimes mistakes -- people on a mission to explore 
all options in achieving their goal. 
  -- We combined the best of the Air Force, the CIA, the Navy, and 
industry to get it done, and quickly. Staff oversight was minimal 
and field managers were delegated authorities unheard of in any 
other programs. Cultural and authoritative barriers were crossed 
with impunity, all to accomplish an overwhelming mission in the 
utmost secrecy. 

On the 24th of May we will celebrate the accomplishments of these 
early space pioneers. The National Space Club and the National 
Reconnaissance Office are planning a commemoration of these early 

  -- From this program and its technology base grew today's 
National Reconnaissance Office and a myriad of modem technologies 
that support both civilian and military missions worldwide. CORONA 
was the genesis for a web of technology that is still growing 
today, to include: 

    - Defense Support Program 

    - Global Positioning System 

    - Defense Meteorological Support Program 

    - DSCS, FleetSatCom, MILSTAR 

    - Atlas, Delta, Titan 

    - And today's generation of reconnaissance satellites 

  -- These systems have provided to our national policy makers and 
to our forces in the field capabilities such as: 

    - Global weather tracking and forecasting 

    - Worldwide instant communications 

    - Worldwide pinpoint navigation 

    - Threat warning 

    - Near real time intelligence to a multitude of worldwide 

    -- From austere and risky beginnings 35 years ago, we've 
developed the most enviable space information systems. No nation 
can come close to providing the volume and quality of information 
we receive from space. 


  -- Let's focus on what is driving the future of space, and in 
turn, how we should react. 

  -- After that comes the fun part: that of the palm reader, the 
fortune teller, Carnack, you know, the vision thing. The envelope 

  -- I've picked a handful of topics on which to focus. As you 
probably recognize, there are many factors that affect our view of 
space into the 21st century -- Hopefully some of this will spark 
discussion for the panels to follow. This forum will be a good way 
for us to hear your ideas of where we are, and where you think we 
are going. 

  -- First, the needs driving our foreign policy have altered the 
landscape of information processing dramatically.  Whereas the 
national security apparatus had a primary focus on one continent, 
policy makers today demand much more information -- from more 
disparate parts of the globe -- and more quickly -- than ever 

  -- As a result, we have an information explosion -- Information 
flowing at the multiple terabytes miles per second. A new unit to 
describe moving large amounts of information, to the user within 
their timelines. Information -- collected from a variety of sources 
-- processed, fused, analyzed, and delivered -- on time to ensure 
its usefulness to the customer. 

  -- In turn, the analysis will be used by policy makers to assess 
the situation, have the information available to protect the 
ability to act, and decided what to do? Whatever option they choose 
-- political pressure, economic sanctions, or military action -- 
the Information gives us the critical edge. Information supremacy 
may well define the US as a superpower. 

  -- The rapid advancements taking place in the information arena. 
Information today grows exponentially: 

    - it comes lots faster 

    - in much greater volumes 

    - from longer distances 

    - requires faster response time 

  -- I wonder how many of you saw a recent issue of TIME, entitled 
Welcome to Cyberspace?  When a major weekly focuses a whole issue 
on the electronic information explosion, you can consider it 
popular culture, instead of the fringe. That should make all of us 
computer geeks feel better. 

  -- If you didn't have a chance to read this issue, the origins of 
the word "cyberspace" are very interesting. It was coined in the 
early 1980s by William Gibson, a science fiction writer, who was 
inspired by watching teenagers hunched over in a video arcade. 

  -- Apparently Gibson defined "cyberspace" in his stories as a 
computer-generated landscape of unthinkable complexity with great 
warehouses and skyscrapers of data. 

  -- What started out as a term in a modern fairy tale is now a new 
way of conducting business. Whether exploring ideas, cutting deals, 
or socializing, cyberspace eliminates the barriers of time and 
distance. My brother, a frequent surfer of the cyberspace, remarked 
in a recent email how strange it seemed to be sending messages in 
real-time around the world while he was looking out the window at a 
horse drawn cart in Hungary. 

What is the connection between cyber 

  -- Remember, 35 years ago, the space business was just beginning 
-- it was our search for information that built the foundation of 
technology for this information age. Space was there in the 
beginning and she is just coming into stride now -- I think you 
have seen nothing yet. Consider the Wright Brothers in 1903 and the 
Apollo landing on the moon in 1969 -- 66 years -- If this is not an 
extraordinary period -- space is only halfway there if measured by 
the same ruler. 

  -- I have mentioned this information factor that has driven the 
development of our space systems. Now, how do we translate this 
into benefits for the customer? 

  -- Ten years ago, customers were content with waiting for a 
lengthy, analytical report. Communications were conducted by mail 
or by phone. 

  -- But today, the mail isn't fast enough and a simple phone call 
won't do. The end users want to see the information and as soon as 
possible.  We have to deliver it faster and better than anyone, or 
we will lose our advantage.  We must set the vision, establish 
standards, and focus the technology. We must establish our 
strategic plan and carefully execute it instead of jumping on the 
technology train for an unknown destination. 

  -- Information and information dominance will play a great role 
in every conflict in the future, whether big or small. We need to 
understand the benefits of having a systematic way to use 
information in our military operations. Now that we are in the 
information age, the military will derive their tactics in large 
part from the innovative use of information tools. Information 
systems will be combined in such a way to create a consistent, 
seamless situational awareness where information is available to 
the war fighter on demand. Space will fit into most facets of these 
military operations with communications, weather, navigation, 
surveillance, arid reconnaissance. Winning wars in the information 
age, with US forces potentially stretched thin, will be possible 
because we control critical information. The value of having 
complete, accurate, and timely information will increase 
exponentially as we move into the 21st century. 

  -- Military planners coined the OODA loop to explain the process 
by which information is received, comprehended, evaluated, and 
acted upon. The four parts of the cycle are known as Observe, 
Orient, Determine, Act. 

  -- To make the OODA loop successful, we must consider: 

    - having interoperability between our systems and between 
      ours and our allies 

    - merging formerly separate disciplines 

    - Just in time delivery of the right information 

  -- Space provides us a necessary edge to make OODA a reality. By 
employing the right communications we can: 

    - provide the latest weather over a strike target 

    - deliver pinpoint navigation information 

    - pinpoint targets or obtain broad area reconnaissance to 
      characterize the battlefield 

  -- Ten years ago, we recognized the component parts of this 
technology and we developed these parts as a series of stovepipe 
systems. Now we recognize the power of integration and cross domain 
information sharing. 

  -- To provide the necessary solutions, we need to press full 
court and think outside the box. Space systems are only one part of 
the overall Cyberspace equation, but how should we, the space 
community, fit in? 

  -- Nothing new, but, we need to ensure that our efforts are 
focused on a space architecture for the long term that is a demand-
pull information architecture -- in which the users select what 
they need. the acceptable response time, and the frequency of 
required data update. 

  -- Think about it like the Internet. As a user, you can select 
and download data as you wish, you can converse with other users 
and lean from each other, and you can query the experts when you 
are stuck and need help. 

  -- Think about the changes in our lives over the last few years -
-CAN, SPAN, USA Today, and now the worldwide webs of Internet. 
People, in their complex daily lives, are focusing their 
information needs with these news tools of the information age. The 
national security information systems will be a mixture of 
commercial and government systems. This mixture will allow us to 
balance cost, performance, and assured access to data. 

  -- This demand-pull concept presupposes a lot on the information 
providers by assuming: 

    - a substantial data base of facts which are accurate 

    - enough information to support the needs of policy makers, 
      CINCs, battalion and squadron commanders, etc. 

    - a rapid response time 

    - an adequate worldwide dissemination system 

    - and a secure communications network 

  -- If we don't think this way, and we don't think inter-
operability, we will never achieve the OODA loop advantage. If we 
do, we have a great chance of staying out front. 


  -- This mix of commercial and government developments is a 
tremendous lever arm to help us achieve our vision. Today, a 
multitude of commercial ventures in space are racing to achieve 
bold new innovations. 

  -- Venture capitalists are starting up new companies with big 

  -- The International market place has recognized the advent of 
space and will field a variety of systems. 

  -- The commercialization of space is harvesting technologies that 
were formerly exclusively used by the government. This government 
investment in key technologies is now paying off to a variety of 
users.  Commercialization will give the government an opportunity 
to take advantage of this progress to save money.  As I said 
earlier, some of our needs can be addressed by leasing or 
purchasing commercial spacecraft.  This will allow our thinking to 

  -- As government expenditures in space continue to decrease, the 
commercial space market place helps to keep factories open and 
workers employed.  The government will continue to have its unique 
needs and therefore, uniquely focused technology programs, but we 
no longer have to carry as large a portion of the space 
infrastructure ourselves. 

  -- The government and industry working together as a team in 
pursuit of common goals is part of the formula for our future 
successes in space. To do this, we must have a government policy 
framework that allows US corporations to compete fairly in the 
international market place. Unfortunately, the government must 
continue to restrict this market place but only when very specific 
national security objectives are threatened. 

  -- Solid cooperation with government and industry here will 
ensure several advantages both to our nation and to our US 
aerospace industry.  Commercial sales of space systems and 
components will help keep the necessary industrial base available 
between military space developments and production runs. 

  -- From a national security standpoint, we cannot stop the 
proliferation of commercial space systems, nor should we want to. 
In the arena of space reconnaissance, we have established a policy 
with Presidential Decision Directive 23, on Commercial Remote 
Sensing that can further our national security goals by allowing US 
firms which pioneered space based reconnaissance to compete in the 
global market place. Recent activity by several corporations is 
indicative of this policy's success.                  

To Keep Up With The Changing Environment -- I Recommend That We 
Need To Change Some Of Our Management Practices And Methods 

Not A New Problem -- We Need To Take On The Debilitating Effects Of 
A Supporting Infrastructure Left Unchecked --

Wellington To Whitehall In August 1812        [SLOWLY] 


Whilst marching from Portugal to a position which commands the 
approach to Madrid and the French forces, my officers have been 
diligently complying with your requests, which have been sent by 
H.M. ships from London to Lisbon and thence by dispatch rider to 

We have enumerated our saddles, bridles, tents, and tent poles, and 
all manner of sundry items for which His Majesty's government holds 
me accountable. I have dispatched reports on the character, wit and 
spleen of every officer. Each item and every farthing has been 
accounted for, with two regrettable exceptions for which I beg your 

Unfortunately, the sum of one shilling and nine pence remains 
unaccounted for in one infantry battalion's petty cash and there 
has been a hideous confusion as to the number of jars of raspberry 
jam issued to one Cavalry regiment during a sandstorm in Western 
Spain. This reprehensible carelessness may be related to the 
pressure of circumstances, since we are at war with France, a fact 
which may come as a bit of a surprise to you gentleman at 

This brings me to my present purpose, which is to request 
elucidation of my instructions from His Majesty's government, so 
that I may better understand why I am dragging an army over these 
barren plains. I construe that perforce it must be one or two 
alternative duties, as given below. I shall pursue either one with 
my best ability, but I cannot do both. 

1. To train an army of uniformed British clerks in Spain, for the 
benefit of the accountants and copy-boys in London, or, perchange 

2. To see that the forces of Napoleon are driven out of Spain. 

Your most obedient servant 



- No Secret That We Need To Examine How We Do Business Within DOD 
and our interface 

- Lots Of Ideas. Lots Of Areas To Attack, But One Thing We All Seem 
To Agree On Is We Need To Make Some Changes Now 

- Good News -- Bill Perry, John Dutch And Paul Kaminski We Have 
Been Empowered To Change--


  -- It is difficult to give a talk to a prestigious space group 
like this without discussing the L word -- launch. 

  -- Our dependence on space, given that the problems we are 
facing, requires that we ensure US access to space for commercial 
and military payloads. 

  -- The cost of launch continues to be a major driver of our 
overall space system cost -- particularly, heavy lift. In today's 
reduced budget environment, we stand to fall into a spiral where we 
buy fewer and fewer satellites which results in fewer, more 
expensive launches, which results in few satellites -- fewer 
launches, fewer satellites. Today's vision for launch may not meet 
the reality unless we act quickly.  

  -- DOD now has a plan, called EELV (Evolved Expendable Launch 
Vehicle). The plan calls for the development and fielding of a 
family of launch vehicles to handle both medium and heavy payloads. 

  -- EELV will employ a building block concept to attempt to 
maximize the number of interchangeable parts and reduce 
infrastructure overhead. 

  -- In my opinion, enough studies have been run and enough data 
collected. All the major players -- Congress, OSD, the services, 
and the Intelligence Community -- agree EELV is the plan. I haven't 
seen any better option and I am eager for the EELV plan to move 
from the drawing board to the launch pad. 

  -- We are dealing with a fixed budget so we essentially are in a 
design to cost situation. Our requirements and mission model will 
be provided to industry so they can harvest technology, define a 
plan, and help us drive to a more long-term cost effective and 
reliable launch system. It is anticipated that this streamlined 
acquisition process will result in a space launch capability 
flexible enough to meet both our commercial and national security 


So. where are we? 

  -- Assured access to space -- US developed systems which meet our 

  -- Space continues to provide the high ground -- a global vantage 
point -- a global flexible communications hub. 

  -- The cyberspace information explosion is providing us with new 
capabilities -- a whole new generation of techno-geeks -- a whole 
new way to accomplish our mission more effectively. 

  -- It is no longer acceptable to provide airmen, sailors, and 
soldiers less than the full advantages of our space capabilities to 
assist them in their tasks. It is clear to both commanders and 
troops that significant force enhancement and multiplication can 
occur if we can integrate effectively space capabilities into our 
military operations -- forced that have adequately trained and 
exercised with these important capabilities. 

  -- The ideas that come forth from conferences such as these, may 
be the very things we talk about in a Space Symposium 30 years from 

  -- Remember, the only difference between plans and reality is 
time. And time never stops! I encourage everyone to not just plan 
for the future, but act on it quickly. 

  -- I thank you and the US Space Foundation for this opportunity 
to address you.