Pressure felt at top in Glenn spaceflight.pdf by liningnvp


									PAGE 10A                                                                                              Laredo Morning Times                                                                  Thursday, October 29, 1998


Pressure felt at top                                                                                                  ‘Titanic’ obsession nets titanic bat mitzvah bill
                                                                                                                        PITTSBURGH (AP) — A 13-year-old girl                  Children sat in the “steerage” section with bar-

in Glenn spaceflight                                                                                                  “obsessed” with “Titanic” got the bat mitzvah of
                                                                                                                      her dreams when a hotel ballroom was trans-
                                                                                                                      formed into the luxury liner, with 12-foot steam-
                                                                                                                      ing smokestacks at the buffet table, phosphores-
                                                                                                                                                                            rels and trunks, while adult tables featured
                                                                                                                                                                            roses, crystal candelabras and replicas of the
                                                                                                                                                                            heart-shaped blue diamond necklace from the
                                                                                                                                                                            movie. The dance floor was hand-painted.
BY MARCIA DUNN                        return to space, just as young-                                                 cent artificial icebergs and a “steerage” section       “This is incredible,” said Heather Levy, a friend
AP Aerospace Writer                   sters watched on Jan. 28, 1986,                                                 for the children.                                     of Lisa’s mother. “A lot of people do things for
                                      when schoolteacher Christa                                                        The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the       their children because they love them, but this
  CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. —              McAuliffe        soared       aboard                                            celebration last Saturday for Lisa Niren was          goes beyond all that. I’m just standing here smil-
The stakes are higher than ever       Challenger. She and the six oth-                                                rumored to cost as much as a half-million dol-        ing.”
for NASA as it counts down the        ers on board were killed when                                                   lars. Her father, Dr. Neil Niren, would not confirm     The bat mitzvah — or bar mitzvah, for boys —
final hours to John Glenn’s her-      the shuttle blew up 73 seconds                                                  the price tag, but Bonnie Chirigos, who spent a       is a religious celebration marking a Jewish
alded return to orbit on              into flight.                                                                    year planning the gala, said “it was nowhere          child’s 13th birthday. It is the point when the child
Thursday, and the man in                Up to a quarter-million people                                                near that.”                                           passes into religious adulthood.
charge of spaceflight knows it.       are expected to converge on                                                       Noting that his own parents survived the              Lisa’s father, a dermatological surgeon, came
  “As a person responsible for        the area for a glimpse of the                                                   Holocaust, Niren said: “Anyone can go down at         up with the idea for a Titanic-theme party more
this mission, I feel an awesome       launch. That doesn’t count the                                                  any time. We didn’t want to wait to show how          than a year ago while in St. Maarten listening to
responsibility and apprehension       3,800 reporters expected for                                                    much we love one another.”                            a recording of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go
                                                                               JOE ROTHENBERG
that everything goes well. This       liftoff, or the 70 members of                                                     Three hundred people came from as far as            On,” the movie’s theme song.
                                                                               Spaceflight boss
is special,” Joe Rothenberg           Congress, or President Clinton                                                  Canada, Mexico and Argentina to fete Lisa, who          “This was a very unique religious ceremony
said after having lunch with the      and his entourage.                       delayed the crew’s training-jet        is “obsessed” with the Oscar-winning movie,           and a party second,” Niren said.
77-year-old        Glenn       on       Everything seemed to be in             session. Glenn opted out of the        according to her 15-year-old sister, Leslie.
Wednesday.                            NASA’s favor heading into the            jet fright once it was postponed.        The piece de resistance was a gigantic photo,
  As always, Rothenberg said,         final hours — the countdown                Glenn left the crowd in the          10 feet above the floor, featuring Lisa’s face
NASA has done everything              was humming along and perfect            front passenger seat of a sporty       superimposed over actress Kate Winslet’s body
possible to ensure the safety of      launch weather was forecast.             convertible driven by his com-         in a famous “Titanic” scene on the prow of the
space shuttle Discovery and its         “It looks like Mother Nature           mander, Curtis Brown Jr. “Hey,         ocean liner. Lisa appeared to have teen heart-
seven-member crew. But the            wants John Glenn to return to            buckle up!” Brown shouted, and         throb Leonardo DiCaprio smiling over her shoul-
fact that one of them is Glenn,       space as much as the rest of             everyone did.                          der.
the first American to orbit the       us,” said Air Force Capt. Clif             Rothenberg said Glenn is               The movie played over and over again on a 12-
Earth and a senator for the past      Stargardt, a meteorologist.              excited about returning to orbit       foot screen above a balcony at the Westin
24 years, has upped the ante if         Glenn spent Wednesday, his             after 36½ years, but “totally          William Penn, one of Pittsburgh’s fanciest hotels.
anything goes wrong.                  last day on Earth for the next           composed.”                               “Isn’t this awesome?” Lisa said, mugging for
  “Would it be any different from     1½ weeks, reviewing flight                 “He’s treating it like a profes-     snapshots with her family. “I just love the movie.
any         mission?       Sure,”     plans and greeting well-wishers          sional, like a fighter pilot getting   I got the video the day it came out, and I watch it
Rothenberg said. “Because like        from afar.                               ready to fly,” Rothenberg said.        all the time. This is just amazing!”
having a teacher on board, it           The seven astronauts stood               At Tuesday night’s beach bar-          Arriving guests were greeted at the hotel
really has got very high visibility   near their launch pad, waving            becue, Glenn showed off a              entrance by a turn-of-the-century carriage
and an awful lot of people would      and shouting to relatives and            photo of himself with his World        loaded with hatboxes and vintage suitcases.
look at it as something happen-       friends kept 20 feet away to pre-        War II squadron. One of the            Inside, reflective aqua-tinted lighting along the
ing to an American hero and we        vent the crew from catching a            men in the photo, or his family,       walls and the phosphorescent blue and green
were part of the process.             cold.                                    sent Glenn the picture so he           icebergs made it appear as if the ballroom was
There’s no question about that.”        “A little different trip this time,”   could autograph it.                    under water.
  Glenn was so beloved by             Glenn called out in response to            “He shared that with the whole
America after his 1962 flight, in     a question. Then: “Oh, don’t             crew,” said Charles Precourt, a
fact, that President Kennedy          worry, I’ll get some window              space shuttle commander who
reportedly instructed NASA not        time.” On his five-hour Mercury          is assisting Discovery’s crew.
to fly him again — he didn’t          flight, Glenn had almost no time         “Since a lot of us are aviators
want to risk the astronaut’s life.    for sightseeing.                         and buffs of history and what-
Glenn never got to ask                  Fourteen busloads of people            not, that was quite a thing to be
Kennedy if this was true; the         traveled to the pad to wave              able to share with him.”
president was dead by the time        goodbye and take pictures of
Glenn heard about it.                 the crew. It took longer than
  Schoolchildren around the           planned to get all those people
country will be watching Glenn’s      where they needed to be, and it

Large historian group issues statement against impeachment
  WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 400 histori-                   “If carried forward, they will leave the presidency
ans issued a statement Wednesday deploring the             permanently disfigured and diminished, at the
House’s decision to conduct an impeachment                 mercy as never before of the caprices of any
inquiry, saying it could leave the presidency “per-        Congress. The presidency ... will be crippled.”
manently disfigured and diminished.”                         The drive drew signatories from more than 130
  The House voted 258-176 Oct. 8 for an open-              colleges, including some of the country’s best-
ended investigation of Clinton’s conduct toward            known historians.
former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.                   Wilentz said only one historian who was asked
                                                           to sign declined. He would not identify him.
  and independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s                    But he said he suspected “plenty” of
charges that Clinton lied under oath and obstruct-         Republicans were among the signers and a few of
ed justice. The investigation is expected to begin         those who signed have called for Clinton’s resig-
after next week’s election.                                nation.
  A president’s lying about his sex life — even              “This was nonpartisan or bipartisan or transpar-
under oath — does not constitute grounds for               tisan, however you want to put it,” he said.
impeachment, the historians said at a news con-              Among the signers were: Doris Kearns
ference.                                                   Goodwin, biographer of Franklin and Eleanor
  “I do not think the founders would have regard-          Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson; Woodward of
ed this as a high crime or misdemeanor,” Arthur            Yale; Civil War historian James McPherson of
M. Schlesinger Jr., a historian who served in John         Princeton; Henry Louis Gates of Harvard; civil
F. Kennedy’s White House, said at a news con-              rights leader Julian Bond of the University of
ference.                                                   Virginia; Lincoln biographer David Donald of
  Lying about illicit relations is commonplace,            Harvard; journalist and author Garry Wills of
even among presidents, said Southern historian             Northwestern; John Morton Blum of Yale; Taylor
C. Vann Woodward, one of the organizers of the             Branch of Goucher College, historian of the civil
historians’ petition. “It is easier to think of those      rights movement; Alan Brinkley of Columbia;
(presidents) who have had illicit sexual relations         Sheldon Hackney of the University of
in office than to think of the exception,” Woodward        Pennsylvania, former chairman of the National
said, contending that an action must be “an                Endowment for the Humanities; and Jack N.
offense against the state” to be impeachable.              Rakove of Stanford, winner of a 1997 Pulitzer for
  The House action “creates a novel, all-purpose           history.
search for any offense by which to remove a pres-
ident from office,” the historians’ statement said.
  Sean Wilentz of Princeton said the petition grew
out of a conversation he had with Schlesinger.
  Wilentz said he sent e-mails to 30 to 40 histori-
ans who would share his view of the impeach-
ment proceedings as contrary to the intentions of
the Constitution’s authors.
  “Within three days 300 people had contacted
me,” Wilentz said. “It was then that we realized we
had touched a nerve.”
  The statement calls the impeachment proceed-
ings “extremely ominous for the future of our polit-
ical institutions.

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