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Issue 11 Cover

Cosmic Search: Issue 11
(Volume 3 Number 3; Summer (July, Aug., Sept.) 1981)
[Article in magazine started on page 12]

By: John Kraus

After the space shuttle Columbia's pioneering flight, John Glenn, U.S. Senator from Ohio and first U.S. astronaut to orbit the earth, wrote one of his constitutents about the space program as follows:

The direction and emphasis of our efforts in space have changed a great deal since I was associated with the program. In those early years the emphasis was on simply putting a man into space and bringing him safely home. Today, the benefits of further manned exploration do not justify the tremendous expenditures such ventures require. But this does not mean we should give up on the space program. On the contrary, we can secure many additional rewards by continuing our efforts in space.

The justification for our space program lies in the benefits it produces for us in the here and now, benefits that enhance the lives of each and every one of us. Consider the following:

Countless thousands of human lives and millions of dollars have been saved through satellite warning of hurricanes, typhoons, and severe storms.

Advanced weather forecasts have increased crops yields all around the globe.

Communications satellites are bringing us all closer together, linking continents at half the cost of just ten years ago.

Aircraft, automobiles, ships, and buildings are now more structurally sound, safer, and more economically constructed thanks to structural analysis techniques developed by NASA.

Our country as a whole is more secure because observation, reconnaissance and early warning satellites have made a surprise attack on the United States less feasible, and therefore less likely.

Indeed, experts estimate that the cost/benefit, return on investment ratio for the space program may be as high as 8-to-1.

In this light it is more than simply troubling that the Administration has proposed devastating cutbacks in NASA's budget; indeed, in the entire Federal research budget. I fully recognize the need for budgetary restraint in these inflationary times. But we must not be penny wise and pound foolish. We must not demonstrate our frugality by mortgaging the future.

Basic research represents nothing less than the key to our future. In today's world, our economic and military strength depend upon boosting our efforts in this area. Failing to meet this challenge is the surest way to forfeit our claim to world leadership. It's just that simple. For these easons, I will continue to press for sufficient funding for NASA and other agencies involved in the quest for knowledge.

    Best regards,
John Glenn
United States Senator

Gerard K. O'Neill, Professor of Physics at Princeton University, has published a new book "2081: A Hopeful View of the Human Future" (Simon and Shuster, May 1981) in which he predicts what he believes the world will be like a hundred years from now. He foresees great improvements in transportation on the earth using fast magnetic propulsion through underground pipelines. He also believes that travel to and from space colonies will be commonplace and routine for millions of people.

O'Neill is President of the Space Studies Institute, a non-profit corporation conducting and sponsoring space research.

An exclusive in-depth interview with Dr. O'Neill on "Space Colonization and SETI" appeared in the March, 1979 issue of COSMIC SEARCH.

The Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh plans to retire as President of the University of Notre Dame in May or June 1982. Upon his retirement as President, a position he will have held for 30 years, it is reported that he is to be named Chancellor of the University.

Dr. Hesburgh is a member of the Editorial Board of COSMIC SEARCH. In the last issue of the magazine it was noted that an asteroid had been recently named for him.

Bernard Oliver, Vice President for Research and Development of the Hewlett-Packard Company of Palo Alto, California, has made a $20,000 grant to the Extrasolar Planetary Foundation to assist in their program to discover planets of other suns. Dr. George Gatewood, Chairman of the Extrasolar Planetary Foundation, writes regularly in COSMIC SEARCH about the plans and progress of the Foundation.

In the last issue of COSMIC SEARCH we reported on Dr. Oliver's $200,000 grant to the Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy to assist in their proposed plan to study stars in the solar neighborhood and acquire better statistics on those that may be good SETI candidates. Dr. Oliver is a member of the Editorial Board of COSMIC SEARCH.

A Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA) has recently been formed. According to Robert W.P. Patterson, Vice President of the Society, this new non-profit organization seeks to promote amateur studies in the field of radio astronomy and to serve as a forum for discussions of projects, techniques and results. Annual dues are $10. Additional information can be obtained from Jeffery M. Lichtman, President S.A.R.A., 81 Stony Hill Road, Feeding Hills, Maine 01030.

The Astronomical Society of Australia is holding a "Space Day" on August 9th of this year to promote public awareness of and interest in space research and astronomy. For more information contact Mrs. Jane L. Brooks, 31 Avenue St., Millswood, South Australia 5034.

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific has announced its 1981 award winners. The Catherine Wolfe Bruce Medal goes to Dr. Riccardo Giacconi of the Center of Astrophysics at Harvard for his lifetime contributions to astronomy. The Robert S. Trumpler Prize has been awarded to Dr. Richard Kron of the University of Chicago for his outstanding Ph.D. dissertation in astronomy. The Dorthea Klumpke - Roberts Award goes to Dietrick Thomsen, Senior Editor of Science News for his outstanding contributions to public understanding of astronomy. Winner of the Astronomical Society of The Pacific Amateur Achievement Award is George E. Alcock of Peterborough England for his contributions to the field of astronomy by an amateur.

A number of groups interested in promoting increased utilization and exploration of space are designating July 13 to 20 of this year as "Spaceweek" on the twelfth anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing. The theme will be "Space: America's New Wealth." Meetings are scheduled in major cities of the U.S. For more information write to Spaceweek National Headquarters, P.O. Box 58172, Houston, Texas 77058 or call Dennis Stone 713-333-8280.



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