Casper Star-Tribune from Casper, Wyoming on July 3, 1979 · 5
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Casper Star-Tribune from Casper, Wyoming · 5

Casper, Wyoming
Issue Date:
Tuesday, July 3, 1979
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Tuesday, July 3, 1079 Star-Tribune, Caeper, Wyo.-8 .-1 Exploration takes back seat to space exploitation CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (UPI) - It wai 10 yean ago on a warm July morning when Apollo 11 'i astronauts set ouj on the expedition that placed men on another celestial body for the first time. fljelr landing on the moon four days later capped a drive Initiated by President Kennedy eight years earlier. It and five addUJpnal lunar landings reaped an incredible scientific harvest and demonstrated the power of American technology. $imoon no longer Is Just a fascinating objeet a quarter of a million miles away. Waaow know It Is over 4 billion years old, that.JJ "seas" in fact are frozen outpourings of lava and that its craters are toe Kara of a violent childhood. Tjhe footprint of men In the soft gray lunar soil, and the tracks left by their Jtepsr remain as testimony to an undertaking that must rank among mankind's greatest. 1 .In looking back at Kennedy's decision to retch for the moon, political scientist John M. Logsdon of George - Washington University says It wu "one of the last major political acta of the Cold War," chosen at a symbol of U. S. strength In beajtiw competition with the Soviet Union. But regardless of why the $34 billion project was started, Logsdon says, when viewed In the historical perspective of centuries Instead of decades, "the decision to fo4o the moon Is likely to mark a turning point In human development." IqSw decade since Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin "Bun" Aldrin planted the United States flag on the Sea of Tranquillity while Michael E. Collins orhlf overhead, the nation's space program has changed course. Exploration of space by men has taken a back seat to exploitation of space. Americans haven't flown in space In four years and will remain grounded until next year. They won't be returning to the moon for at least another decade. The moon holds a low priority in future space plans. The 843 pounds of lunar rocks ' and soil brought back to Earth by the six landing teams are now viewed as a precious national resource of long term scientific value. The men of Apollo have scattered. Only three of 21 astronauts who went to the moon remain wltii the space program. Many Apollo officials have retired or gone Into business. Former spacecraft manager George Low is a college president. Wer-nher von Braun, the developer of the Saturn S rocket that made Apollo possible, is dead. Armstrong, now 48, is a part-time aerospace engineering professor at the University of Cincinnati, a some-time test pilot of business Jets and a consultant to an automobile manufacturer. His left ring finger was ripped off in a farm accident last November but It was re-attached and It "sort of works" now. Aldrin, 49, has had difficulty adjuring to the routine of Ufe back on Earth. He had on-agaln, off-agaln bouts with mental depression for several years and is now an engineering consultant In Los Angeles. Collins, 48, left NASA shortly after the moon mission to become assistant secretary of state for public affairs. He later moved to the Smithsonian Institution to direct the creation of the National Air and SDace Museum and now Is undersecretary of the Smithsonian. The three Apollo 11 fliers value their privacy and haven't met in public together since the fifth anniversary of their flight. But they will participate in public ceremonies In Washington on the July 20 anniversary of the landing. Richard Nixon, who was president when Apollo 11 achieved its success, has Invited the three moon pioneers to a private Apollo 11 anniversary poolside luncheon at San Ciemente, Calif., July 15. Aldrin and other former astronauts will be guests at a $500-a-plate benefit in Las Vegas July 14 for the National Space Institute. The astronaut corps has a new look these days. Six women are among 35 new astronauts training for flights In the 1980s aboard the . space shuttle, the revolutionary winged rocketshlp that Is the key to the nation's future In space. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is developing the shuttle to make space more accessible to scientists and engineers. It won't be able to go to the moon or some more distant body, but will stay closer to Earth, in the orbital arena where man and machine can most benefit the people below. The shuttle Is a space truck, with a cab that will seat seven and a cargo hold large t enough to carry a Greyhound bus and then some. It will fly to and from orbit every few weeks, hauling up satellites as well as men and women. Armstrong says the next major space objective should take advantage of the shuttle's capabilities and have a more practical orientation. He wants NASA to establish a permanent apace station In orbit a few hundred miles high. "I believe it would be affordable, productive and compatible with the shuttle," Armstrong said at a rare newa conference a few weeks ago in Cincinnati. But, like the Apollo moonship In the mid 1980s, the shuttle is having development troubles. The first of four space flight models, the Columbia, ia now undergoing time-consuming flight preparations In a new hangar only a few hundred yards from the towering building In which Apollo 11 was assembled. The Columbia originally was to be launched last March on Its maiden 54-hour orbital flight. The flight now la off until sometime next year, perhaps as late as May or June. The space center had been preparing for the shuttle five years before the Columbia arrived this past March to begin flight preparations. Soon after It was delivered to the Cape, It became apparent that the timetable for flight would have to be revised. "We Just have a very large Job with the possibility of a number of surprises which we Just can't predict," said Kennedy Space Center director Lee Scherer. "But it's what we're here for and a challenge that we are anxious to work on, and it's , great to have us and the country back this close to manned spaceflight again." - The space center - the "moonport" a decade ago Is now becoming a true "spaceport." Not only will the shuttle take off here, but It will return to the space center, gliding to a landing on a concrete runway nearly three miles long. The Cape was selected as the main launch and landing site for the shuttle because the rocket plane could use much of the equipment built for the Apollo lunar landing project. Once it ia attached to its solid propellant booster rockets and big external fuel tank In what was the Saturn assembly building, the shuttle will be hauled to the launch pad on one of two crawler transporters that carried moon rockets to the firing site. When Columbia finally takes off, It will be leaving the same oceanslde launch pad that started Apollo 11 on Its way. An estimated 1 million people Jammed the. beaches, riverfronts and highway approaches around the Cape to watch Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin begin their historic Journey. Apollo 11 sped smoothly Into orbit around Earth. Two and a half hours later, the rocket stage that got them there fired again and accelerated them at 24,200 miles per hour on to the moon. Three days later, July 19, the main engine of the command ship Columbia fired for six minutes to slow Apollo 11 so it would be captured In lunar orbit by the moon's gravity. This wu the third time men had been in lunar orbit But it was the first time they had gone there to continue down to the lunar surface. ft "We had somehow, incredibly, reached the point where we were starting the descent for the landing," recalls Christopher C. Kraft Jr., then flight operations director at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston and now director of what is now called the Johnson Space Center. "Thus far, all had gone astonishingly well." But after Armstrong and Aldrin started their descent In the lunar module Eagle, having left Collins In the orbiting com mand ship, a yellow caution light flashed on. The Eagle was only 8,000 feet above the moon and Its vital computer had too much to do. Another alarm signal flashed on 3,000 feet high. Should the landing be called off? An Immediate decision was needed. It was made by a 27-yearold guidance controller, Steve Bales, in Houston. He said the alarms should be Ignored. Apollo 11 was told to continue. But the Eagle was headed directly toward a big, rocky crater. Armatrong calmly steered the spacecraft to a smooth site and with 30 seconds of fuel left, the lunar module's four legs touched down. "Houston, Tranquillity Base here," radioed Armstrong. "The Eagle haa landed!" Six and a half hours later, Armstrong opened the lander's hatch, backed awkwardly out of the spacecraft and climbed down Its ladder to the surface. He put hla left foot down and told Earth: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Aldrin followed his partner to the eur-face 15 minutes later. They spent more than two hours out there, collecting 44 pounds of rocks and soil samples. The next day, Armstrong and Aldrin blasted off the mo and linked up with Collins in lunar orbit. They broke out of the moon's gravitational grasp July 22 and two days later splashed down in the South Pacific. Now, 10 years later, when Armstrong looks up at the moon, "I see a different thing than I saw earlier. I used to see a flat disc In the sky and now I see placet that I've been and can relate to." Students jam classroom for history lecture -tit ' , By rOX BUTTERFIELD (c.) 1171 NT. Timet Newt Service KUNMING, China - Every Friday morning clusters of Chinese students Jam around a classroom at Yunnan University here to try to Overbear a lecture on English and American history. The university has had to station policemen outside to turn away those not registered In the course, though some still come in through the windows. A major reason for the popularity of the class It the teachers, Elisabeth Benson Boos and her son, Paddy, two of the first group of 40 Americans who have arrived In China this year to begin teaching. Another attraction It that under China's badly disrupted and security-conscious education system, none of the students have ever tad any foreign hiatory or geography before. The, Bootes - Mrs. Boos It 53 years old, Paddy It 24 - gallop through large chunks of potentially controversial history at a time. OnejNttlon Included the rite of capitalism and the Industrial monition, another Marx, Darwin, Freud and Einstein, of whom only Marx wu familiar to the students. If .snake up for their students' lack of background and the unavailability of textbooks, the Boozes act out their lessons - for example, dramatizing the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. The Bootes and Steve Thorpe, a 28-year-old teacher from the University of Texas, are the first Americans to live In this city of 1.8 million people In t.uthwestern China since the Communists came to power In 1949. During World War II Kunming wu the end of the air rout. over "the Hump," by which American supplies were flown froBvIndla over the Hlmalayu to the Chinese Nationalista. The; old U.S. air base outside of town remains u the clty't air-port-but the ban and brothels that once catered to American airmen have'long since vanished. The narrow, crooked streets that wenJined with low mud-brick nouses have been replaced by broad boulevard! flanked by modern multi-story concrete offices and apartment bouses. The Boozes' experience In the four months they have been here, by tuna exhilarating and frustrating, aeemt typical of that shared by Ik other American teachen and eight United Stales tcholan wbeare now scattered around China, Sixty more American graduate students and tcholan will arrive by September. The. Boozes were hired by the Chinese government to teach English after applying through the former Chinese liaison office 1n Washington (now the Chinese Embassy). But Mn. Boot, a history teaeber at the American University in Washington, and her ton, a rtoest graduate of the University of Wisconsin, soon discovered a serious problem: books. The small holdings In the university library consist largely of materials from before World War II and the 1950's, testimony to the disruption of the Great Leap Forward and then the Cultural Revolution, when gun battles broke out on campua. To compound the problem, students can read material only In their own major tod an entitled to take out only three books a smester. To overcome these difficulties, the Boozes have aasembled their own lending library of 300 books scrounged from friends and relatives In the United States and tourists paulng through Kunming. "I've become a professional beggar," said Mn. Boot. TjM Booms and Thorpe mutt deal frequently with the Chinese bureaucracy, a task requiring more diplomatic finesse than Gen. Joseph Stlllwell needed In his stormy relationship with Chiang World War II. They were recently hit by a government order, that canceled without explanation a pledge to let them and oUnr'fonlgn experts," as they are called, travel around China during summer vacation. The Booses have not been able to invite their students to the Kunming Hotel where they have been living - called the Golden Cagt'by the students, It is off limits to Chinese. However, the Booses, who ire paid about $300 a month, will shortly move to facutty bousing on campus. Btffthe Boozes feel more than compensated by their 150 students In English-language courses, particularly the tint- and second-yeaclaases that wen admitted after passing China's newly restored entrance exam system. "Ic'an't uy enough about now good they are,"-says Mn. Booz. ' "Tney an so lively, eager and Intellgent, and they study 24 boun a day7!Ybey have accomplished In one year what would take Anftcan students two yean." Indeed, In a classroom visit the other day, an American Journalist wu quizzed for two and a half boun in strikingly good English about a series of contemporary subjects ranging from the Strategic arms limitation agreement to American salaries, 4he gas shortage and the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident. Q ' Study of moon rocks to go on for years Q King Feature Syndfcatt, Inc., 1S7I Chaos spreading to cargo NEW YORK (NYT) - The chaos that erupted at airport passenger terminals after the grounding -ofthe McDonnell Douglas DC-10'i it spreading to the airlines' cargo operations, normally a $2 billion business. Before the airliners were grounded. . the 'htc DC-10't supplied an estimated 12 percent of air-cargo capacity In the United States. Thus far, the loss of cargo space in the bellies of the Jumbo Jets hu proved notably leu serious than the disruption in passenger travel. As the grounding lengthens, however, thippen can expect Increasingly slower sen-ice. And some airlines, alone: with their freight agents, will tee their cargo profit margins shrink because of lost revenues and expensive substitute service. HOUSTON (UPI) - In the 10 yean since the crew of Apollo 11 returned the tint rocks from the lunar surface, scientists have unlocked many of the moon's secrets. But study of the specimens from another world may continue for decades. Many of the key questions about the moon have been answered. Scientists know how old It it, what It it made of and the general story of its youth and adolescence. Where It came from remains a puzzle although there ia growing sentiment that It split oft from the Earth or formed nearby at the same time. More flights to the moon, at leut by automated spacecraft, will be required to answer some of the remaining questions. None it planned. So scientists mutt pry at much information u possible from the 843 pounds of -lunar material brought back by attronautt. "In many senses, we know more about lunar rocks, those that were selected anyway, than we do about equivalent terrestrial rocks," aald Dr. Thomas Mutch, associate NASA administrator for space science In Washington. But only about half of the samples have been . examined in any detail. , "The closest analogy I can think of to lunar . rocks It the study of meteorites, our only other source of extraterrutlal matter," tald Dr. Michael Duke, chief of lunar and planetary science at NASA's Johnson Space Center. "Meteorites have been studied for 100 yean or so and the time Kale for the study of lunar rocks It not leu than that, but hopefully In that time frame, we'll have tome additional onea from other placet (planets)." The haul from the moon Increased as the Apollo missions became more amblttout, Apollo ll's attronautt brought back about 44 pounds from a limited site around the spacecraft. The lut and largest batch, 242 pounds, wu gathered by Apollo 17 In 1972. The samples are now stored In vaults except for samples loaned to 80 teams of scientists in 10 ; countries and small pieces on display and in high school and college exhibits. Probably the moat Important discovery made by analysis of Apollo's treasure from the moon was Its age. "To find out that the moon is Indeed 4 billion yean old, going back to time zero (for the solar system) in essence, it a major finding and a major opportunity to understand what wai going on in the fint billion yean," tald Dr. Noel Htnnen, former held of Apollo's lunar ttudlu and now director of the National Air and Space ' Museum in Washington. The fint landings were made on the moon't flat, dark "seu." Samples brought back showed that these were basically great sheets of basaltic lava that poured out 3 to 4 billion yean ago. "We now know that basalt Is a common building material of the Inner solar system,"! Mutch said. "That wu not clear at ail before Apollo." - ' The dark, fine grained rocks of the seu ant relatively simple In form and composition. ,, compared to the rocks of the lunar highlands, Those, aald Duke, are exceedingly old, and have;'-?, been Intensely mixed up by the Impact ofc -j meteorites on the surface, j.v" The mixing occurred during the early hlstoryyy of the moon when there wu an Intense rain ol debris probably left over from the initial foi matlon of the solar system, Duke tald. Later, number of bodies Impacting the moon declined markedly until now the moon ia struck only occationally. What the rocks have shown scientists Is thai Bluntly after the moon formed, it melted rather thoroughly In ita outer 100 to 150 mile layer. Then . the surface cryttallzed with the denser materiauv linking and the lighter ones floating to the sur face. What remained wu a crust. "It's turned out to be fairly Important In termer7 of studying the Earth u well," tald Duke. "Thai period of the history of the Earth It not directly observable on the Earth. Erosion and the motion of the plates of the Earth's crust have erased, s far as we know, essentially all of the record ol the tint few hundred million yean. "But we can look at the moon and start then! and perceive that something similar must have; -happened on the Earth. That allows us to look fol other duet on Earth that will allow ut to uy eventually how the early crust of the Earth formed." For all of their Information, the rocks real . haven't startled scientists in their composition, V "The rocks are composed of pretty much '"tame sorts of bulc elements of Earth rocks,' Duke said, "silicon, iron, aluminum magnesium." Tha iimnlai remorknhlv wall nreserved 01 the moon because of the lack of water thereg have been stored in controlled environments Kj they would not oxidize and deteriorate. When t new $2.8 million curatory building opens at JSC this month, the rocks will have a permanent -hurricane and tornado-proof home for fututfc.. research, -90 Gas guide tells where bargains are By WILLIAM D. LAFFLER NEW YORK (UPI) - A little booklet may help campers and other travelers fight the high cost of gasoline. "Ryan's Gas Guide" lists more than 1,200 Independent gasoline stations In the United States that offer bargains to motorists. Recreation Marketing Services of Billings, Mont., began lit survey of gasoline prices around the nation early last year when It became evident fuel costs would spiral. RMS president Donald J. Ryan aald information was obtained from travelers and operators of discount, self-service stations. His guide lists stations alongside or within one mile of Interstate and major U.S. highways. "Rumor has It that Independent stations have inferior quality gas not true! " Ryan said in an Interview during a recent business trip to New York. "They get their gas from the major refineries. They are even owned, In some cases, by the major oil companies or their distributors. This rumor Is similar to the ones claiming there were worms In McDonald's hamburgers and snakes in clothing at K-Mart." Ryan cautioned there were some problems with buying gas at independent stations. "Many do not accept credit cards because they can save 3 to 5 percent," Ryan said. "Some convenience stores that sell gas do not have rest rooms." w Ryan said some gasoline stations Jack up the price of gas when the supply runs low. "Rather than close for a few days and forego profits, they raise prices and sell to that portion of the market that is Insensitive to price - thus keeping their profit the same on lower volume," Ryan said. "Incidentally, the U.S. government has a phone number to call if you think you were overcharged for gas." Ryan feels motorists, especially speeders, often are to blame for excessive gasoline consumption. "If they could only make people drive 55 miles per hour, a lot of gas would be saved," he said. "Can are going futer than the trucks." The state-by-state listings in his guide give fie highway number in one column and the city and location of the nearest station or stations in another. "The only purpose of this directory is to save money for travelere," Ryan uld. "Those who patronize cut-rate stations will be able to find them when away from home. Those who patronize major brand stations can save money, too, because major brand stations located adjacent to cut-rate stations normally offer lower prices because of the competition. Saving money on standsrdlzed products such as gasoline is merelv a matter of knowing where to find the bargains." -The directory can be ordered for $2.50 postpaid from Recreation Marketing Services, P.O. Box 20995, BlUlngs, Mont. 59104. It will be available soon at campgrounds and some stores around the country. One franchise association, Kampgrounds ot"" , America, also often help for motorists, par- -Ocularly, .campers,-with Gasoline Advisory Service, or G.A.S. More than 850 KOA operatora are going Id check at leut once weekly with gasoline stations to find out the availability of gas, houn of operations and prices for all types of fuel, Including dlesel. "G.A.S. wui auempt to provide campen with up-to-the-minute Information on when and where to find gu, should spot shortages occur," Don Lowe, tenlor vice-president for KOA, uld.

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