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'Star Wars' and Arms Control

November 17, 1986

Two editorials in The Times (Oct. 31) were worthy of close study.

The lead editorial, "Building on Reykjavik," states that the wheels have fallen off President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative and that a large number of scientists reject the claim that a defensive shield can be built.

The second editorial, "JPL: Looking Forward," details the early failures in the rocket engine development program. These failures, according to the editorial, prompted the experts to opine that there was no reason to pursue this activity.

Astronomer Forest May Moulton indicated that the difficulty in escaping the gravity of the Earth was insuperable and that such adventures will never pass beyond the realm of fancy.

Ensuing events have proved, once again, that the experts were very, very wrong.

Do you suppose the current crop of "experts" now nay-saying the SDI are related to the group that didn't see any merit in the early Jet Propulsion Laboratory work?



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