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THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL
25
been curious about the stars in the sky, many devoting their life–
times to this study through constantly improved telescopes, they
knew nothing about the purpose - or whether there
is
a purpose.
In Pasadena, California, a short distance from Ambassador
College is the world-famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory (known as
JPL), operated by California Institute ofTechnology. devoted pri–
marily to U.S. government and space projects. There they design
and produce unmanned spacecraft to be sent into outer space to
photograph and send back pictures of other planets in our solar
system. In December 1974 one carne comparatively close (26,000
miles) to Jupiter.
lt
sent back photographs that revealed addi–
tional knowledge about this largest of our planets. They did not
give any proof of existing life or of conditions capable of sustain–
ing life.
Then on February 9, 1975 astronomers at the University of
Arizona claimed to have discovered through a telescope evidence
ofwater on Jupiter. This I consider highly improbable.
Of course, the planet Mars has attracted the widest attention.
Haven't you wondered if Mars is inhabited -what kind of life
might exist there? This very question has supplied the theme for
science-fiction movies and a television series viewed by millions.
But
does
human life or sorne other form - either much supe–
rior toman, or much inferior- exist on Mars or any other planet?
Science does not have these answers. But the many photographs
sent back to Earth from spacecraft on the surface of Mars, and
hence being much
nearer
Venus, Jupiter and Saturn than our
planet Earth, at least
INDICATE
a total absence of life on any of
these planets - or conditions capable of sustaining life.
lt
had been planned to try to land the unmanned spacecraft
Viking on Mars on the 200th anniversary ofthe United States as a
nation. Actually, this spacecraft, in appearance something like a
huge, ungainly Tinkertoy, had been created at the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, Pasadena, California. The Viking was equipped to
send back photographs from the very surface of the planet Mars.
Actually it did land on July 20, 1976. The Jet Propulsion Lab–
oratory, operated as a government project, but a division of the
California Institute of Technology, is located a short distance
from our Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena. The JPL scien-