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Aural Delights Nov 2008

The A Bertram Chandler Story UFO is now available as an audio podcast from Starship Sofa Aural Delights No 48

Dragonard No: 1 1979
(Cover Craig Anderson)

Dragonard No: 1 1979


In re SKYLAB, the impending re-entry of the thing into the Earth's atmosphere has already received some publicity in Australian media. Most of those writing it up were appalled by the airy fairy attitude of the U.S. authorities, the entirely unjustifiable assumption that no bits and pieces would fall on anything or anybody.

So-if I were in charge of the SKYLAB project what would I do about it?

The whole trouble is that it's a matter of politics rather than astronautics. If I-or anybody else who happened to be in charge-were empowered to Do something About it regardless of expense there'd be no worries. Even at this late stage in the proceedings it would be possible for a team of suitably equipped astronauts to nudge Skylab backinto a safe orbit.

The problem, then, would be to persuade the holders of the public purse strings to loosen them sufficiently-and to do it in such a way that people like Proxmire would have no grounds for screaming that space travel is not only hellishly expensive but dangerous. The aid of the media might be enlisted but the trouble there is that the sensation mongers would stress the very real dangers to such an extent that Americans could well be grounded for the next fifty years or so or until such time as the Russians make their manned landing on Mars.