Columbia explosion

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Feb 6 07:35:00 MST 2003


Mike Friedman wrote:
> If anyone had the opprtunity to listen to WBAI (or presumably other
> Pacifica stations) last night, Robert Knight had someone from Sky
> Watch(?) on his program (Earthwatch?), who confirmed Jose's observations
> specifically regarding the Columbia: i.e., its mission and overweight
> payload were totally dedicated to non-military research projects.

This seems to be backed up to some extent by an item in today's slate.com:

When a commercial product or application truly is developed on a shuttle
mission, the shuttle's real contribution usually has to do only with
marketing. For example, in 1998, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.
sponsored a shuttle experiment in which buds of a certain variety of
rose were allowed, under the supervision of John Glenn, to blossom
during a shuttle flight. According to IFF, exposure to microgravity
during blooming led to an unspecified "shift in the scent" of the
blossoms. "Essential oils" supposedly similar to those produced by the
shuttle roses were later included, among roughly two dozen other
ingredients, in a perfume (called Zen) made by Japan's largest cosmetics
company. The IFF press release announcing the breakthrough said: "This
heavenly scent has come down to Earth in a product designed to enhance
mood as well as to delight those who smell it. It also serves to remind
us that reaching for the stars can result in down-to-Earth delights."
Last year, Unilever became the second company to use the fragrance in a
product by adding it to a deodorant called Impulse, which "caters to the
energetic and vibrant girls who believe in living life to the fullest!"
but isn't sold in the United States.

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