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Technology

January 24, 1988

The article that you ran on the discovery of two very remote galaxies (Part I, Jan 14) by astronomers using military infrared detectors, and the article regarding the possible use of electromagnetic "rail guns" as launch devices for NASA payloads (Part I, Jan. 11) demonstrate that very often it is military research and development that leads to innovative technologies.

Particularly, the Strategic Defense Initiative, or "Star Wars" program, is currently engaged in a massive mobilization of intellectual resources that could not possibly help but add to the store of useful technologies.

We might also recall other technologies that were developed for or given a substantial boost by military necessity, such as radar, microwaves, computers, and so very many others which are now not only taken for granted but which have even become indispensable to the operation of our society.

I offer these examples as counterweights to those who would argue that SDI has no redeeming value, and I hope that they will come to realize how very important such research and development will prove to be for our future in areas beyond the stated goals of defending our nation from nuclear attack.

S. KENNETH KAWANO

Redondo Beach

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