DECEMBER 29, 1958.

Majority Leader, Chairman, Select Committee on Astronautics and Space Exploration.

Dear Mr. Chairman: There is forwarded herewith for your consideration and submittal to the Congress a special staff report, Astronautics and its Applications, prepared in accordance with the policy guidance of the committee, under our direction and with the editorial assistance of the committee staff.

A real need has been felt for an authoritative study in lay terms which would set forth clearly the present and definitely foreseeable state of the art of space flight. The committee, after careful consideration of alternatives, requested The RAND Corporation of Santa Monica, Calif., to undertake such a study. Under contract with the United States Air Force, RAND scientists and engineers have been in the forefront of objective investigation of such problems since World War II. RAND's reputation for integrity and independence particularly commended this nonprofit organization to our attention.

The report which follows, tailored to the needs of the Congress and the public, represents the most comprehensive unclassified study on the subject now available. The report is confined to technical and scientific analysis, avoiding expressions of opinion on policy and administrative matters. It studiously avoids borderline speculative judgments on the pace of future development. Such a forward look, tentative though it may be, is provided by a separate staff study on the next 10 years in space. The two studies therefore complement each other.

Our particular thanks are due to Dr. Robert W. Buchheim and his associates at RAND for the combined speed and care with which they produced this report. George H. Clement of RAND did a commendable liaison job in translating our wishes and in smoothing the way at every stage. The work of preparing this report was undertaken by The RAND Corporation as a part of its own research program in the public interest. This is based on their Report No. RM-2289-RC, copyright 1958 and reproduced here by permission.

Any views expressed do not necessarily conform to those of the United States Air Force, this committee or any member of the committee.


Director and Chief Counsel.


Assistant Director.