The Burnelli Web Site
Evidence of Suppression and Official denial is overwhelming
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[source: MIAMI HERALD, FEBRUARY 5, 1986]

NASA behind the times

By T.A. HEPPENHEIMER
T.A. Heppenheimer holds a Ph.D. degree in
aerospace engineering and is a science writer
in Southern California.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) may have to be dragged kicking and screaming Into the 21st Century.

A host of new technologies is evolving that offers the promise of vast advances In space flight. Yet NASA resolutely has stuck to pursuing a series of goals from decades past using the old-fashioned technology of rockets.

NASA wants first a space station -a larger version of Skylab which we launched in 1973. And for the more-distant future NASA still hopes to send astronauts to Mars at enormous expense again using rockets. This goal has been dear to its heart since the 1960s. No matter that we sent an advanced robot lab to land on Mars In 1976 and could easily do so again. No NASA says only astronauts will do.

This tenacious hold on old technical chestnuts this unwillingness to pursue new goals is the symptom of a fossilized bureaucracy that pursues only Government-approved dreams. NASA today is staffed mostly by old-timers who have been there for decades. It attracts few young people with fresh ideas.

But in the wake of the Challenger disaster NASA's very existence will be questioned and its aims re-examined and defined anew. From Challenger's ashes may rise a new space program for the next century.

NASA management should commit its efforts to "impossible" goals that stretch the limits of what we can foresee as feasible. The agency's motto should be, "Do the Impossible and do it well." Such goals would stimulate young people attract the involvement of entrepreneurs and spur new technologies. These goals should have a common theme: to develop the infrastructure of space to support the most ambitious efforts of the next century.

First NASA should develop jet-propelled aircraft that can fly to orbit. NASA is already joining the Air Force's aerospace-plane project but in a Junior role. Using new engines and lightweight materials that now are in active development such aircraft would have cargo bays nearly as large as its fuel tanks. By contrast the shuttle's main fuel load is 25 times heavier than its cargo.

With such craft or with even more-advanced ones NASA could pursue a second goal: the reduction of launch costs to $15 per pound of cargo carried to orbit. This contrasts with the $5 000 per-pound costs of the shuttle. With such low cargo costs the nation's builders and entrepreneurs could undertake construction in space on a large scale.

At that price space flight would enter our lives as aviation entered our parents' world. We could rely on spaceborne aircraft for flights halfway around the world In little more than an hour. The Pacific Rim would boom amid such fast and easy transportation. People would take vacations in orbit thus experiencing space travel at first hand.

A third goal would open up the entire solar system for flight. Rather than rely on conventional rockets NASA must develop new engines powered by nuclear reactions. Much of the needed technology may flow from the "Star Wars" program. Such craft would operate only in deep space never landing on Earth. But they could fly to Mars in as little as nine days.

A fourth goal would develop the capacity to undertake large-scale construction In space using raw materials taken from the moon or the asteroids We could routinely transport moon rocks on an industrial scale extracting their valuable metals silicon and oxygen. When using sophisticated robots we could build orbiting cities solar-powered satellites the size of Manhattan interplanetary spaceships and the ultimate telescope that could see objects the size of houses on planets of nearby stars.

Once these goals were accomplished NASA could support the vastest space projects of the next century. We might undertake the large-scale deployment of Star Wars systems for missile defense. The colonization of space could go forward. The entire solar system would be open to widespread exploration. New energy sources relying on solar power from space could supplement our waning oil reserves.

Can we afford such things in a nation that needs subways and help for the homeless? A reasonable rule to follow is "If you can't do It easily -don't push." The shuttle is expensive because engineers have pushed the rocket a marginal technology to its limits forcing it to do more than it can readily accept.

By contrast tomorrow offers a host of new technologies -- in robotics in advanced engines in the use of computers for design in lightweight materials With them space flight even on a vast scale may he accomplished with relative ease. These technologies will be as far beyond the shuttle's as a jetliner is beyond a steamship. And these technologies used in space will also enter and transform the way we do things here on Earth thus helping to secure our future prosperity.


Correspondence is listed in Chronological order
March 29, 1995 to present day (1 - 33)
(All correspondence since March 29, 1995 is present)


1. Mar 29, 1995 Burnelli letter to NASA 2. May 5, 1995-NASA response 3. Aug. 10, 1995-Burnelli letter to NASA General Counsel
4. Aug. 31, 1995-NASA response 5. Sept. 6, 1995-Burnelli responds to NASA Sr. Patent Atty 6. Sep. 20, 1995-Burnelli to NASA re: lifting body research project
7. Sept. 21, 1995-NASA says "the patent expired" 8. Sep. 27, 1995-Burnelli to NASA Counsel, "..when criminal conspiracy is involved.." 9. Oct. 3, 1995-NASA Gnl Counsel, "..I am not your attorney.."
10. Oct 3, 1995-Burnelli to NASA, "..outrageous bureaucratic tyranny.." 11. Oct 6, 1995-BURNELLI submits reports and tests to NASA 12. Nov. 2, 1995, Burnelli, "..may I have a response.."
13. June 27, 1996 Burnelli claims NASA is refusing to acknowledge 14. July 3, 1996 - NASA: "We will not consider taking licence".. 15. July 9, 1996 Burnelli, presents Lockheed correspondence
16. Aug 12, 1996 Burnelli presents Flight magazine article 17. Aug 27, 1996 - NASA Gen'l Counsel requests past correspondence-lost 18. Sept 3, 1996 Burnelli, " ..appeal to you, correct a grave injustice.."
19. Sept 6, 1996 NASA: "..we have no record of your letter.." 20. Sept 24, 1996 - Burnelli: "..all aircraft mfr's recognized Burnelli importance in mid-30's" 21. Sept 25, 1996 NASA: "..Burnelli did not submit a proposal.."
22. Oct 7, 1996 Burnelli: "..NASA, you have deferred our correspondence.." 23. Oct 11, 1996 - Burnelli: "..internet NASA FACT is a lie.." 24. Oct 28, 1996 NASA: "..we will continue to disagree.."
25. Dec 9, 1996 Burnelli: "..NASA, you have repudiated your obligations.." 26. Jun 10, 1965 - Jean A. Roche', Head Aeronautician Engr./Tech. Advisor, US Army Air Forces 27. Jan 13, 1997 BURNELLI: "..we have not received answers to our letters.."
28. Jan 29, 1997 BURNELLI: .."we request that NASA provide no further funding to BWB project.." 29. Feb 10, 1997 BURNELLI: ..Smithsonian article quote:.."the first to touch on the concept was Vincent Burnelli.. " 30. Feb 20, 1997 - NASA: .."considers this matter closed.."
31. Sep. 4, 1995 AVIATION DAILY article .."McDonnell eyes blended wing body research.." 32. Feb 5, 1986 MIAMI HERALD: " NASA behind the times" 33. CARISI Report


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