Tuesday, June 22

Take that, NYT!

I probably have written no more than five letters-to-the-editor in my life. Today's NYT op-ed on the flight of SpaceShipOne provoked me to write. Since they doubtless won't print it and since you'd have to register to read it (or the editorial, for that matter) I'll reprint it here. The gist of their piece was: who cares?

To the Editor:

Re "To the Fringes of Space" (editorial, June 23)

Hmm. Perhaps this would be a good time to rerun another Times editorial, "A Severe Strain on Credulity" published 13 January, 1920. In this, one of your predecessors, also apparently an expert on space travel, points out that Professor Goddard's invention could not possibly work since rockets "...need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react."

Given that the Times changed its opinion on Goddard's work in mid-1969, should I be watching these pages for a retraction around 2053 or so?

Allan M. Schiffman

Lake Tahoe, Nevada

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