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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
February 23, 2012
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Publication Date: 
February 27, 1986
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00965R000504490005-8.pdf63.51 KB
STAT Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/02/23: CIA-RDP90-00965R000504490005-8 NEW YORK TIMES ON ARTICLE APP RED 27 February 1986 Military Sees Problem in Grounding of the Shuttles Tb !1 By CHARLES MOHR Special to The New York Times WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 - The Urttde; Secretary of the Air Force said today that there would be "severe" OxoBlbms in launching vital military satellites if the three remaining space shuttles remained grounded for more than a year. ' The United States depends heavily on an'" iTay of reconnaissance, early Of'rning, communication, navigational did weather satellites, and replace- i6e#ttd are occasionally needed. ' ` The-Air Force official, Edward C. Al- drielt;'testified before a House Science 08-Technology subcommittee that the militiry effect of the Jan. 28 explosion that destroyed the space shuttle Chal- lenged and killed all seven crew mem- bets would be "relatively minor" if the thteeiremaining shuttles could resume f4gllt8 within six months, but he added -thut?this would be "an optimistic view. point at this. point." "If the down time wastwo years," he added, "the Departmet of Defense would have serious problems with 21 high-priority payloads waiting on the launch pad for a launch opport unity." He did not descri be these "extrem -ly important" missions but the are Known to include re acements orDo- P togrK C and m ired ra rec naiasanrp satellites that monitor a wide ranap of milita activities in the Soviet r. rtc an i iam R. Graham, Acting Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administra- tion, said they saw no plausible way to speed up delivery of 10 new expend- able, single-use satellite-launching rockets scheduled to be delivered by late 1988. Those rockets could take the place of the shuttle for sending some of the payloads into space. Problems in Single-Use Rockets Further serious delays could arise if an accident grounded one of the re- maining shuttles, the men said, and Mr. Aldrich said the Pentagon "would strongly urge" Congress to authorize the construction of a new shuttle. Mr. Graham told the subcommittee that he had initiated "design modifica. tion efforts" on the joints of the shut- tle's solid-fuel booster rockets. Seals in those joints are a prime suspect in the Challenger disaster. Mr. Graham disclosed that produc- tion had been halted on new booster motors and casings but that NASA had stockpiled seven pairs of the rockets. The Air Force has stockpiled seven Titan rockets that are capable of lifting some of the heavy loads to be sent into space. Ten rockets of a still more capa- ble modification have been authorized by Congress but cannot be delivered until late 1988. Even so, both officials explained that some large and heavy payloads were designed with the shuttle in mind and would be difficult or impossible to launch with expendable rockets. Mr. Graham said that NASA now planned nine shuttle missions in the first 12 months after the current grounding ends, 14 in the second year and then a schedule of 16 to 18 launch- ings annually. Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/02/23: CIA-RDP90-00965R000504490005-8