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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts • 31

The Boston Globei
Boston, Massachusetts
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era How Why C2 Medical Help C5 On the Web C6 1 Living C7 NewsLine C12 THE BOSTON GLOBE MONDAY, MARCH 1, 1999 Ml VI ir," Oj And now for something completely different payioad Spinning into space Roton rocket is designed to use a unique system of spinning rocket engines to soar into space and helipcopter blades to "make a gentle landing, enabling the craft to be completely reused for as many as 100 flights. iiW )b id? jiri TO iiil Once in orbit, a cargo- holder will slide out the side and release a satellite. Like the space shuttle, it can also retrieve malfunctioning satellites from omit and bring them back for repair. The craft will fire smaller engines to begin the descent from orbit, then enter the atmosphere base down. That means only the water-cooled base experiences the maximum heating from friction, so the rest of the craft requires little insulation.

Radical rocket, being unveiled today, would spin into space and whirl back down By David L. Chandler GLOBE STAFF l-l f-i UJAVU, Ualil. Tills I I 1 morning, at the oversized mum i iiuiniamniBiiy n. am. i i mint 4 -V, Vll airport ot tins small desert 1 1 town, the doors of a huge II hangar will rumble open, The rocket, fueled by kerosene and liquid oxygen, will climb to low Earth orbit -more than 100 miles up.

Just before it enters the atmosphere, the Roton deploys helicopter blades that have been stowed along the rockefs sides. The blades help to slow the descent and an odd-looking craft picture a 63-foot-tall white megaphone will slowly roll into view before a crowd that should vastly outnumber Moja-ve's registered voters. The craft is a test vehicle for a new kind of rocket that its supporters hope will mark a dramatic advance in space-age history, opening up the space frontier to regular, routine travel for tourism and commerce in much the same way that the DC-3 opened up aviation. Then again, the innovative Roton rocket could turn out to be more like Howard Hughes's famous 219-foot seaplane of 1947, the Spnce Goose: a cutting-edge attempt to push the boundaries of aviation technology that barely got off the ground. "It really is rocket science," said Edward Crawley, head of the Aeronautics and Astronautics department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Roton design is "an interesting concept," he said, but many aerospace engineers question whether it is even possible to build a rocket that can make it into orbit ROCKET, Page C3 The craft lands gentry just like a conventional helicopter, allowing it to make an emergency landing almost anywhere if necessary. Made I crew I Ca''n 1 engines-1 X) GLOBE STAFF PHOTOMARK WILSON Workers at Rotary Rocket plant in Mojave, Calif, put the finishing touches on newly assembled test vehicle, which will be unveiled today. A turntable on the launch pad spins the base of the rocket, which consists of a disk carrying 72 rocket nozzles. The rest of the vehicle, connected to the disk by a large bearing, does not spin. GLOBE STAFF GRAPHIC SEAN MeNAUGHTON After heart surgery, brains can suffer 1 Health Sense JUDY FOREMAN Sugar' 'empty calories' pile up By Marie Sanchez GLOBE CORRESPONDENT Decades of medical advances have made operating on tjie heart much safer and slashed the rate of deaths and surgical complications, but surgeons are still struggling to prevent puzzling after-effects that leave many open-heart surgery patients mentally hobbled.

Not untypical, says Dr. Laverne Gugino, an anesthesiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, is a patient he knows well who underwent a heart valve operation a year ago. Within 24 hours, his brain scan showed abnormalities, and today, the man is confused and combative whenever he returns to the hospital, though he had been calm and clear-headed before the operation. He lost some memory and now occasionally forgets where things are around the house, what time it is even where he is. His coordination was also affected.

Previously self-suffi- BRAIN, Page C2 ri ere's the so-called problem: The kids in the Colorado Springs schools just f. aren't drinking enough Coke, or so 1 says John Bushey, an area supermini LJ tendent for 13 schools who signs his correspondence, "The Coke Dude." It seems the Colorado district had been hard up for money for extras like band competitions and debates. So in 1997, it signed a 10-year contract by which it would get million from Cocaola in return for giving the soft drink giant exclusive rights to peddle Coke, juices, teas, other sugary drinks and fancy water in school vending machines. Coke has similar "partnerships" with schools around the country, including the Burlington, Mass. system and dozens of individual schools in the Boston area, says Bob Lanz, Coke's vice president for public affairs for New York and New England.

With sugar consumption by teenagers already in the stratosphere, this scheme is not exactly popular with nutritionists. Surprisingly, it doesn't seem all that popular with kids in Colorado Springs, either, because they haven't held up their end of this sugar-coated deal. Sales of Coke products have been so sluggish that Bushey wrote to school officials in September: "We all need to work together to get next year's volume up to 70,000 cases." He wasn't kidding, as he made plain in an interview. In fact, his solution is to let kids buy drinks "throughout the day except for the half hour before and after lunch" and to place machines "where they are accessible all day." Let's say, for argument's sake, that bombarding kids with soda pop and other sugary drinks makes economic sense for cash-starved schools. But nutritional sense? Forget it Sugar consumption, especially among teens, is "off the charts," says Michael F.

Jacobson, HEALTH SENSE, Page C4.

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