Understanding February 1986
(hand-written) Feb. 1986
In the few hours since the Challenger Space Craft destroyed itself and its crew, so many millions of words have been spoken and written concerning every phase of the tragedy, that it would seem there was nothing more that could possibly be said.
There was a great outpouring of sympathy and condolence for the bereaved, which came from every part of the country, and from many other countries. Scientists and technologists admitted that there would always be danger in space travel, but vowed they would not permit the danger to deter them from their work.
To my disappointment, not a single person, scientist, technician or layman, even suggested that it might be wise to devote a small portion, say one half of one percent, of the funds allotted to space exploration, to the search for a safer and more economical means of creating the necessary motion.
It seems to have been almost universally accepted that the reaction principle, (Rocketry) is the only possible means of achieving the desired end. This belief reminds me of a statement made to me some 35 years ago by a knowledgeable acquaintance. Referring to our then, budding science of rocketry, he said, “It is a good thing that your stone Age ancestor, when he found himself afloat on a hollow log in the lake, did not discover that he could propel the log by throwing stones over the back end of the log. If he had made this discovery, it is probable that every ship that crosses your oceans today would still be using the same principle! While many improvements would, of course, have been made including specially shaped rocks and very strong mechanical throwing arms, etc. Once your race discovers a principle that works, it has a strong tendency to put all of its eggs in the one basket. Have you forgotten that every star, every planet, every asteroid, every satellite and every atom are in constant motion, and that every one of these motions are created and controlled by the action of force fields, especially the Gravitational Field, the Electrical Field and the Magnetic Field? They are Natures universal and dependable means of creating and controlling motion. Yet your science is making very little effort, and is investing almost no funds in learning more about them. Perhaps you feel that you already know all that there is to be known about them, but I can assure you there is still much for you to learn, and when you have learned, there will no longer be any need for you to propel your spaceship by throwing rocks – (Incandescent gas) from its stern, nor will you have to lock yourself into the center of a huge bomb, and pray that the explosive material will expend itself slowly through the proper venturi. (End of quote.)
Thirty years ago I predicted that our science would be making use of field propulsion in space travel within twenty years. I was wrong. I underestimated the tremendous inertia that could be generated by the several hundreds of billions of dollars that would be invested in reaction propulsion, and the consequent lack of interest in any other possible system!
Nevertheless, if science and technology continue their present rate of progress, and if it is not interrupted by the cataclysm of war, someone will devote the time, the energy and the grey matter needed to bring the subject of field propulsion back into its proper place in science and technology. I would like to live just long enough to be there when it happens!
(signed) Daniel W. Fry
(hand-written) Cleonas Corner February 1986
By some miracle, I turned the T.V. on at the EXACT moment of the tragic explosion of the Challenger Shuttle, and was stunned and filled with total disbelief and tears! Quickly I called Dr. Fry to come ‘see and hear’ the unbelievable. All our long time members know that Dr. Fry and partner, created Crescent Engineering & Research Co., and that Dr. Fry had a rocket 7 miles up into the stratosphere, four years BEFORE the U.S.A. even thought of such a thing! Even now he is a life member of the White Sands Missile Range Pioneers. What happens in this space age is, and always will be, vitally important to him as long as he lives.
White Sands M.R. does the creating, testing, missile firing and ALL related work, then feeds the test results TO Cape Canaveral so that shuttles may be sent into space.
Most of you know that I fiercely love this U.S.A. of ours, and think of us all as one family. Hurt one of us and you hurt our family, and we weep for our losses! Yes, we do lose many hundreds in plane and highway accidents so why concern ourselves with just seven? 1st – They were OURS! 2nd – These seven volunteered, worked many long months in preparing, and left with such high hopes, only to have the dream, and themselves, shattered in less than 2 minutes!! It hurts, and we, as a nation, weep.
It was our pleasure, about 3 years ago, to have chatted with the MOON WALKERS – Buz Aldrin and Gene Cernan – plus 8 other astronauts in a 20 minute private press room meeting, just prior to their induction into the International Space Hall of Fame here in Alamogordo!
You may remember the 3 astronauts who burned to death IN their capsule, in 1967, while on the launching pad at the Cape?? It was Virgil Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee. (Grissom was my favorite.) Young White was, also here to ‘stand in’ for his father at the induction. My favorite; of the ten inducted, was (and is) Gene Cernan, who was, at that time unmarried, he said. Because I’m a good match-maker’ I said, “I know just the girl for you!) He laughed and motioned to a lovely young woman across the room, to whom he introduced us as, “my special lady.” It was good to see him much on T.V. today, as he is so well informed and caring. The reason he was on T.V., was what hurt!
Did you know that NO soul leaves the body and wanders off in space alone? Each soul is called for and taken home. Is that not comforting to know? So our dear 7, lost today, were taken home. To be out of the body, as they now are, means to be with God- the best place any soul COULD be!!
It is the parting that is such tearful heartache for us who are left behind! Yes, I do know, having endured it 4 times. Many of you have lost dear mates and relatives also, but we go on – as we must – and as they’d WANT us to do. From the lessons we learn we’ll live the problems, and work out the answers. ‘Tis said, “The butterfly counts not the months, but moments, and therefore has time enough.” So be it.
It’s almost Valentine’s Day, the time of hearts and flowers. As I so often say, “We need more love between-all-human-beings,” I will say it again and again, because it is impossible to say it to often!
He said, “Love one another, as I have loved you.” So let us TRY to do that. He did not say, “Just love the select, the mighty etc.” That is not how HE did it:: The ‘least of these’ need our love the MOST!
Of course, on Valentine’s day you will gift the one dearest to your heart. You say you’re not rich enough to take her (or him) to far away exotic places, buy her diamonds, pearls, mink, or take her to the finest gourmet restaurant, etc? But you CAN buy her a lovely sentimental card, and one rose, if you can’t afford 12 or 6. Just be sure it’s one PERFECT rose, to show you cared enough to select just that ONE, just for her.
Let us build bridges of friendship and bridges of love. One never knows where love may lead.
We continue our commitment to love the world enough to work ceaselessly for PEACE and – it is our privileged and pleasure to love an serve you – our family of World Understanding, Inc.
Wishing each of you all
the blessings of God’s love,
(signed) Cleona Q. Fry