2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 24, 1997
Debate ensues over MIR
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -
NASA came under mounting political
and public pressure yesterday not to put
another American aboard the broken-
down Mir, a debate that's become one
of the most agonizing in the history of
the space program.
The final decision rests with NASA
Administrator Daniel Goldin, who has
been warned by key members of
Congress that he proceeds at his own
risk if he sends astronaut David Wolf to
the Russian space station for a four-
Goldin is expected to make up his
mind today, one day before space shuttle
Atlantis is scheduled to lift off with Wolf.
"The time has come to say we've
learned a lot from it, but we're not
going to risk any more Americans
aboard," Rep. F James Sensenbrenner
Jr., chair of the House Science
Committee, said on NBC's "Today"
show. The representative said it is not
worth putting another American on Mir
merely "to spend months being an
assistant Mr. Fix-It."
"The whole country was behind us in
Apollo," said Christopher Kraft, retired
director of the Johnson Space Center and
a key figure in the development of the
Apollo and shuttle programs. "Today we
live in this world of 'what have you done
for me lately' business. That makes it
very tough, particularly for NASA."
NASA insiders were divided right
before the 1986 Challenger accident on
whether to launch that morning, but
that debate didn't become public until
after the ugly fact. One of the biggest
disputes before that came before the tri-
umphant Apollo 8 flight to the moon
during Christmas 1968, when some
argued that the Saturn 5 rocket needed
There have been other debates along
the way: whether to replace John Glenn
on NASA's first orbital flight in 1962
because of the perceived psychological
toll of his numerous launch delays,
whether to send astronauts to the dam-
aged Skylab station in 1973, and whether
in 1981 to risk astronauts on a space shut-
tle protected from the fiery re-entry only
by fragile outer tiles.
In every case except for Challenger,
NASA was confident of its technical
know-how and won.
This time, though, NASA is forced to
rely on another country's expertise. And
that country's space station is breaking
down more and more.
NASA's inspector general, Roberta
Gross, noted in a recent letter to the
House Science Committee that Mir's
problems "are occurring at a time when
the Russian government may not be in a
position to provide adequate financial
and technical support to enable the
aging space station to operate safely."
Leaders of the science committee
oppose sending any more Americans to
live on Mir but have left the final deci-
sion up to Goldin. The White House
also is leaving it up to Goldin.
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Continued from Page .
Vice President for University
Relations Walter Harrison said
Kasdin's prior experience will be a use-
ful addition to the University's adminis-
"It's really wonderful that he'll be
joining us," Harrison said. "I look for-
ward to the experience, enthusiasm and
knowledge he brings to the job and his
sensitivity to the issue that affect stu-
dents, faculty and staff."
Kasdin said he wants to continue to
build on the University's financial
"I think the colleagues I will have in
the CFO office have done a terrific
job," Kasdin said. "I'm joining a
strong group of people who have done
a great job. I hope we continue to build
Kasdin received an A.B. from
Princeton University in 1980 and a J.D.
from Harvard Law School in 1983.
Continued from Page 1.
"There's a big persuasion job to be
done," said geology Prof. Henry
Pollack. "It may mean going out and
talking to people you don't normally
Steve Rowe, an executive at Holnam,
the nation's largest cement manufactur-
er, contended that reducing pollutants
can also increase efficiency.
"The environment and economics
are not at odds;' Rowe said. "It just
takes some creativity."
One reason Babbitt cited for low
public concern for global warming is
that it is not an immediate problem that
can be easily sensed.
"You can't taste carbon dioxide'
Babbitt said. "You can't smell it. You
can't see it.'
One point of the anti-global warm-
ing campaign that the automobile
industry campaign attacked is the
lack of a specific time frame of dam-
age to the environment by carbon
"The precise impact is not clear,"
Babbitt said. "But the general outlines
are pretty clear."
In addition to environmental haz-
ards, Babbitt said global warming caus-
es health problems - including malar-
"As the temperature change begins,
the mosquito vector is moving north,"
, Babbitt recalled visiting Glacier
National Park in Montana and not
being able to find glaciers easily.
Within the past century, the glaciers
have been reduced 50 percent due to
"Soon they'll have to rename Glacier
National Park,' Babbitt said.
The recently released
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change report, which was conducted
by thousands of scientists worldwide,
contends the amount of carbon dioxide
in the atmosphere will double by the
middle of next century.
Some scientists, however, dispute
those findings and agree with the auto-
mobile companies that there is no need
for global warming reform.
"There will always be a few scien-
tists who believe in aliens in
Roswell," Babbitt said. "But I know
there aren't any at the University of
HMOs may make
dying more merciful
CHICAGO - HMOs may be mak-
ing death more merciful for elderly
patients, researchers say.
While the cost-cutting practices of
health maintenance organizations are
sometimes criticized as harmful to
patients, a new study found that
Medicare patients in HMOs were less
likely to get prolonged, costly - and
ultimately futile -care than those with
traditional Medicare coverage.
Skeptics said that the data may
underestimate the cost of treating
HMO patients and that Medicare bene-
ficiaries who choose HMOs may be
people who would decline aggressive
"r at life's end anyway.
Nationally, about 13 percent of
Medicare beneficiaries belong to
In the study, based on 1994 data,
Medicare patients hospitalized in inten-
sive care units in California were 25
percent less likely to undergo aggres-
sive, highly expensive care that ulti-
AROUND THE NATI7N
Riley calls GOP's school vouchers a fad
WASH INGTON - Education Secretary Richard Riley yesterday launched the
Clinton administration's counterattack on GOP lawmakers' education proposals,
calling taxpayer-funded vouchers for private education a "fad" that will benefit a
few and leave most students behind.
Confronting a new spate of education-related legislation from conservati
Republicans, Riley renewed the Clinton administration's call for standardize
national tests in reading and math, and called for a new federal commitment to aid
local school districts in addressing overcrowding.
And Riley warned he will urge the president to veto a pair of legislative initia-
tives - one that would use federally funded vouchers to send 2,000 low-income
schoolchildren in the District of Columbia to private schools, and a second that
would establish tax-protected savings accounts for parents who send their children
to such schools.
President Clinton already has vowed he would try to block two other measures
now moving through Congress:°a bid to block national standards testing and a mea-
sure that would send all funds now disbursed by the federal Education Department
directly to local school districts.
Riley's latest challenges underscore the Clinton administration's determination
to put its imprint on the education issue in Clinton's second term.
mately proved futile if they were HMO
members than if they were covered by'
The HMO patients did not die at a
higher rate while hospitalized and died
at an only slightly higher rate -8 pe
cent - during the 100 days a
release compared with fee-for-service
draining Lake Powell
WASHINGTON - As environmen-
tal ideas go, it is one of the biggest and
boldest: Drain Lake Powell, a 252-
square-mile manmade lake on t1g
Colorado River that attracts 2.5 milliW:
tourists a year, as a way to protect the
Grand Canyon's ecosystem.
While the brainstorm of the Sierra'
Club received a congressional hear-
ing Tuesday, lawmakers were any-,
thing but supportive. They called it
"silly" and "monumentally dumb"
and promised one after another that it
would get nowhere if they had any-
thing to say.
SAROUND THE WORL
Yom Kippur Services
" Students receive tickets free of
charge by showing a valid ID.
World Bank, IMF
plan greater reform
HONG KONG - World Bank and
International Monetary Fund leaders
said yesterday they would push for
social reforms and fight corruption in
the countries that turn to them for
At the start of their annual meet-
ings, the IMF and World Bank drew
criticism from Chinese Premier Li
Peng, who said economic aid should
not come with political conditions.
The IMF, traditionally the over-
seer of countries' debts and curren-
cies, "has focused increasingly on a
broader reform agenda," Managing
Director Michel Camdessus told an
audience of finance ministers and
central bank governors from some
Camdessus said the fund is now
speaking out more forcefully about
income distribution, "unproductive"
military spending by countries with
pressing social needs, accountability
World Bank President James
Wolfensohn said its work of funding
global development is being
changed. The bank is more willing
to listen to what poor people s
they need, and to reach out to ofteW
excluded groups such as ethnic.
minorities, he said.
ash may cause disease
SALEM, Montserrat - Britain's
chief medical officer gave
Montserratians another reason yestq
day to avoid the south end of their vo -7
canic island when he warned that
lengthy exposure to ash could cause a'
deadly lung disease.
Sir Kenneth Calman arrived
Sunday in Montserrat to evaluate the
health effects from the smolderng.
Soufriere Hills volcano on the
island's 4,000 remaining residents.
He said yesterday that frequent
inhalation of the ash, which is highin
the mineral silicon, has been kno4
to cause silicosisr
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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(1429 Hill Street) anytime before
the Holidays (October 1) or in the
Fishbowl on September 26, 29, 30.
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information on Holiday meals.
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