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July 20, 1979 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1979-07-20

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Page 4-Friday, July 20, 1979-The Michigan Daily
HMichigan Daily
Eighty-nine Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor. Mi. 48109
Vol. LXXXIX, No. 48-S News Phone: 764 0552
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
Carter's abilities
questionable
HE SUBSTANTIAL surge in President Car-
ter's popularity following his Sunday night
energy speech seems likely to be short-lived since
the nation was shocked Tuesday by mass offers of
resignation from the president's cabinet and
senior staff.
It has been speculated that the president's
motive for the staff shake-up is to unify his un-
derlings and give the impression of taking
dramatic action to "clean-up" his administration.
But the action has instead fueled concern that Mr.
Carter is attempting to divert attention from his
own ineptitude as a leader.
The White House has brushed off the dollar's
plunge against most foreign currencies, saying
such problems will correct themselves. This at-
titude toward further economic downturns in a
country in imminent danger of a deep recession
seems a bit flippant.
The public must ask whether the nation's leader
is truly guided by his constituency's best interests
or his political self-interests for re-election.
Mr. Carter has not given incompetence as the
reason for firing any member of his staff thus far.
Instead his reasoning has been that there is too
much dissension among his subordinates. It
seems that Mr. Carter will have difficulty at-
tracting outstanding advisors since their job'
security apparently rests not on abilities but the
capacity to conceal wise judgement for the sake of
conciliation.
Wednesday's circulation of staff evaluation
forms to senior staff members by Hamilton Jor-
dan, the newly named chief of staff, reinforced the
impression that tighter political control over the
executive branch agencies and departments is
behind the shake-up rather than a reorientation of
administrative policy. While the aim of increasing
bureaucratic efficiency is noble and overdue, this
drastic action demands clarification.
The events of recent days cast doubt on Mr.
Carter's ability to lead his country and his staff in
a manner befitting the stature of his post.
Mr. Carter's dubious skills at uniting his subr-
ordinates portends the outcome of his efforts to
unify the nation in battling the energy crisis and
inflation as well. If the chief executive cannot
exert leadership over his cabinet, his ability to
exercise it over an entire nation is questionable.
SUMMER EDITORIAL STAFF
ELIZABETH SLOWIK
Edior-to Stief
JUDY RAKOWSKYEd....--Ch.....Editorial Director
JOSHUA PECK.......Arts Editor
SPORTS STAFF
GEOFF LAICItM ................... ........... Sports Editor
OILY 51d . 51 15 Ai...............'..... Ercutie Sports Editor
It., SE. ..... '. ..' lanOo in ports Editor
- j'et"I IN . . } tapnGyH aljr -

Apollo's success understated

T ODAY MARKS the 10th anni-
versary of what is probably
the greatest technological
achievement in recorded history.
For it was Sunday, July 20, 1969
that for the first time, man lan-
ded and walked on the moon. The
historic words of Neil Armstrong
were beamed back to earth after
the boulder-dodging landing:
"Houston, Tranquility Base here.
The Eagle has landed." That was
only 10 years ago.
SIX HOURS later, more than a
half-billion people watched those
historic first steps on the
"chalky" lunar terrain on live
world-wide television and
millions more heard it on radio.
This triumphant moment
climaxed a race to the moon bet-
ween the Soviets and Americans
which never really was a race.
For most Americans, it was a
subdued moment-and at the
same time, one of jubilation-af-
ter a turbulent decade. Those
four days in July 1969, from laun-
ch to landing, Americans were
given a chance to forget the
volatile Vietnam War and Civil
Rights movement to watch their
countrymen fulfill a dream few
realized was attainable.
Americans finally could take
pride in their country's actions.
SURE, THE Soviets were more
prolific than the U.S. in space
projects, and had more "firsts"
under their belts. But the U.S.
achieved what no one else even
came close to accomplishing-a
stroll on the moon.
It is unfortunate that many
everyday conveniences made
possible by the entire Apollo
program are often taken for
granted. Today, the earth is ser-
ved by satellites which perform a
broad range of practical fun-
ctions such as weather forecasts,
detecting crop diseases, and
transmitting phone calls.
Yet Neil Armstrong, who ear-
ned his pilot's license at age 16
before he got his driver's license,
points out the never-ending
public apathy toward the space
program because people sec no
immediate practical benefits,
although they are all around us.
"I THINK WE are a very adap-
ive people," he has said. "We
come to accept new ideas very
quickly and are ready to discard
them. You can suspect and then
accept, and then reject all in a
year. That's the nature of our
society. So I don't find it (apathy)
surprising. Whether it's right, I
don't know."
The one-man Mercury
program, which essentially
tested man's sub-orbital flight
capabilities, was followed by the
two-man Gemini program. The
ambitious Gemini project's goal
was to establish man's ability to
deal with near-Earth orbital
space flight.
Gemini 4, which carried
University alumni James Mc-
Divitt and Edward White, suc-
ce'ssfully completed the first
"space-walk" extra vehicular ac-
tivity in 1965. Gemini 5 and 6
completed the first rendezvous
and docking in pace-crucial
maneuvers for getting spacecraft
to and from the moon.
-EVERYT1LING,.'.N4'n atae:

By TIM YAGLE
how inconsequential, was leading
to Apollo11.
The Apollo program, however,
ran into trouble at the outset.
Like the modern space shuttle,
the program and the launch
vehicle introduced a brand new
kind of technology to NASA
technicians.
NASA also was coping with
dwindling public interest and a
penny-pinching Congress, the
same obstacles which still plague
the space agency a decade later.
IN THE, COUNTDOWN re-
hearsal for Apollo I in 1967, Virgil
(Gus) Grison and Edward White-
and Roger Chaffee were engulfed
in flames in the spacecraft's
cabin-a 100 per cent oxygen en-
vironment. Nevertheless, Apollo
was given an overhaul and
ctric~slo n nllnfmat. ,_1(

In the 10 years since Apollo 11,
however, the spirit of space ex-
ploration has by no means
waned. Ambitious unmanned
projects such as Viking, Pioneer-
Venus and Voyager have brought
brilliant never-before-seen close-
up pictures of Venus, Mars, and
Jupiter into our living rooms with
Saturn and Uranus within reach.
Most Americans have
repeatedly wondered whether the
billions swallowed up by the
Apollo and other space programs
were spent in a meaningful way
so all Americans could benefit.
Some quickly respond with an
emphatic "yes." Despite the
seemingly vast amounts of
money Congress has spent on
NASA in the past 10 years, it cost
the average U.S. citizen only 20
cents per year for five years to
finance the entire U.S. snace

Saturnv

were all geared to Apollo 11's
success.
Apollo 10 then did everything
that its famous successor did ex-
cept actually land. Then it was
Apollo 11's turn for the spotlight.
With Col. Michael Collins orbiting
the earth's only natural satellite
in the command module "Colum-
bia," Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and
Armstrong each took their
"small step for a man, one giant
leap for mankind." The rest, as
you know, is history.
BUT THE inspiration wears
away. Human attention is frail
and people go back to worrying
about how to make their own
grass greener. After Apollo 17,
the last manned mission to the
moon it became a distant place
once again. But for some people,
including this writer, the vic-
torious feeling is still there; we
conquered the moon and returned
.:, home safel. ,.. .

program. NASA has said
repeatedly that the benefits
reaped from the $2.6 billion
Skylab program alone have paid
for the entire U.S. space
program.
Although Vogager and its suc-
cessors are still exploring the
solar system, the space program
is once again in trouble in the
public relations department with
both Congress and the American
people. This is in part due to the
lengthy delay in launching the
first space shuttle. With that
launch, however, a new, and
hopefully even more productive
era for space travel and ex-
ploration will be resurrected.
Such an achievement should con-
vince the skeptical U.S. citizenry
that the space program is worth
the money and effort.
Tim Yagle covers science for the'
..Daily.

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