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May 23, 1978 - Image 11

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-05-23

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, May 23, 1978-Page 11
Prof involved in Venus mission

(ContinuedfromPage 1) II, will be launched on August 7. This
spacecraft should help us understand spacecraft will release five separate
why the carbon dioxide in Venus stays probes to investigate the composition of
in the atmosphere. It should help insure Venus' atmosphere. It will also study
that the same process doesn't happen to the weather conditions on the planet.
Earth's atmosphere," said Donahue.8
Donahue said the spacecraft will "THE PROBES will let us know
primarily attempt to study the planet's about the composition of Venus. The
upper atmosphere. He said he does not Russians have studied the surface
expect any significant data to be collec- properties of the planet, but we want to
ted until early next spring. learn about what makes up those
A second spacecraft, Pioneer Venus properties," said Donahue.
The Last Waltz a
failed performance

Several parts of the spacecraft's
equipment were built in the Univer-
sity's Space Physics Research
Laboratory. An orbital electron tem-
perature probe, a device which
measures atmospheric temperature
and the density of ions and electrons on
Venus, was built here under the direc-
tion of George Carignan, laboratory
Donahue said past studies of Venus
have shown its surface to be covered
with stones and its temperature to be,
extremely hot. He said. the four probes
would spread throughout the planet and
search different areas to check the
wind velocity, surface temperature'and
cloud's particle size. He explained the
probes will release the information
immediately before touching the planet
surface when they will burn up.
THE SPACECRAFT holding the
probes will reach Venus a few days af-
ter the first spacecraft. It will fly a
much shorter course than Pioneer
Venus I.
Donahue said costs for the entire
project exceed $250 million. He said the
usual congressional opponents of space
research opposed the mission but no at-
tempt was made to block the project.

The University professor claimed he
did not worry about congressional in-
terference because "Congress as a
whole is very supportive of space
research projects."
The National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA) which funded
the Venus project, said the mission will
answer fundamental questions about
the forces which create the weather
conditions on Earth.
Donahue said some of the project's
discoveries won't be known until nearly
a year after the spacecrafts begin their
"The weather map to be formed by
the probes will not be ready until
probably 1979 because it will take a long
time to make the radar exact," said
The professor, who has been active in
planning the Venus project for the past
decade, said he was believes the
mission will be successful.
The Holland Tunnel, the first venti-
lated underwater vehicular tunnel ever
built, links New York City and Jersey
City, N.J., under the Hudson River. It
was named for Clifford M. Holland, its
first chief engineer.

(Continuedfrom Page 6)
influences on music and on a whole
generation" on stage at Winterland.
While I certainly can undestand the
presence of a Muddy Waters or a Bob
Dylan, why, oh why, is Neil Diamond on
this album? The talent, as well as the
performances, are greatly imbalanced.
On their own songs, The Band plays
with a terrific feel of tearing it up one
last time, but it is too often quite inap-
propriate with the nature of the songs
they are doing." Up on Cripple Creek"
loses its sense of funkiness, and all the
feeling of resignation is drained from
"The Night They Drove Old Dixie
Down" (and a lovely Allen Toussaint
horn chart) by the quickened tempo.
The relatively subdued "It Makes No
Difference" does come off well, thanks
to a superb vocal performance by Rick
Danko and the general intensity The
Band puts into it. Danko, perhaps nor-
mally the quietest member of the
group, is the surprise star of the Band's
songs. His bass playing is powerfully
affirmative, and his singing on
"Stagefright" and "Difference" is ex-
WHEN THE BAND plays their faster
songs one would think they would be on
safer ground, employing their fast and
loose spirit. But too often, it has been
done better before (on the live Rock of
Ages and on After the Flood). They
display few harmonies, and they sound
too familiar with the old material. And i
don't like the idea of being able to un-
derstand the lyrics to "Life is a Car-
nival" upon the first hearing.
The presen a of the big-name guests
certainly profers the sweep of styles
The Band desired on this recording, but
the lack of focus on any style or person
proves unsatisfying. Whereas The Band
formerly melded countless sounds, we
are now asked to have just a taste of a
handful of them. Thus, Dr. John, Paul
Butterfield, and Eric Clapton
leave before they are even
warmed up: worse yet, the perform-
ances of - Joni Mitchell and
Neil Young are slogged through, with
both the singers and The Band sounding
far away from their best environments.
TWO SINGERS, however, nearly
make up for all the failed attempts. Van
Morrison, appearing flabby in the film
and sounding extremely rough, belts
out "Caravan" from the heart. He
avoids the frills-as it appears, at least
temporarily, he has lost them-and
plows through the lyrics to give a truly
remarkable performance.
And, at the end of the live portion of
the record, there is one of The Band's
most important musical acquaintan-
ces, Bob Dylan. Singing with less aban-
don then After the Flood, but with more-
sincerity than he showed on Hard Rain,
Dylan perks up The Band as no other
performer did that night. They rock
solidly through "'BabyLet -Me Follow,

You Down" and "I Don't Believe
You," and sing a weirdly tough version
of "Forever Young." "I Shall Be
Released" sounds like it always should
have, with an army of singers
wailing out the chorus (although it
bothers me to think of Ringo singing
Bob Dylan).
The final side, apart from a painfully
cold version of "The Weight", has little
to offer. Recorded in the studio, it does
however, include the never-before-
recorded voice of guitarist Robbie
Robertson, which is a proposition of
mixed blessings.
Robertson is reputed to have said that
good music should always be
dangerous, and perhaps the problem
with The Last Waltz is that it rarely is.
It is hardly risky to have Neil Diamond
sing, or to dish up another serving of
greatest hits. The Band seemed ready
for the pseudo-break-up: their albums
were becoming tamer, and a spirit
seemed to be lacking that was brightly
evident in Music 'From Big Pink and
The Band. Perhaps sometime in the
future, when they go back in the studio
to record their next album together,
they will be relaxed enough to take
some of the chances they passed up
when they recorded The Last Waltz.

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