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Congressmen Laud Kauai Facilities

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Every Sunday, “Back in the Day” looks at an article that ran on this date in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. The items are verbatim, so don’t blame us today for yesteryear’s bad grammar.

Congressmen who have the responsibility of doling out money for the space program said they were impressed with Kauai facilities where another $6 million or so will be spent before an astronaut steps on the Moon.

Tracking facilities at Kokee and Barking Sands were inspected yesterday by Representative George P. Miller, California Democrat, and four members of his committee.

The House Science and Astronautics Committee was to leave for the Mainland today after a swing around the Pacific as far away as Perth, in western Australia.

Miller said, "The men working at these stations are dedicated men and they are doing a wonderful job."

Representative Olin Teague, Texas Democrat and Miller’s deputy, added the "briefing we received at Kokee was the best I’ve heard on the entire trip."

The briefing was by Virgil True, station manager for Kauai.

He told the Congressmen that expansion plans at Kokee will be in the neighborhood of between $5 and $7 million for the Apollo, or Moon, flights.

Most of this money will be spent on renovations to existing buildings, putting in more equipment, more mobile units with electronics gear and beefing up the generator capacity to produce power.

Edmond C. Buckley, tracking station director for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, said Kokee will be concerned mostly with the phases of each Moon flight close to the Earth and not deep space tracking and communications problems.

But he said Kokee will be a major station in the Apollo network just as it will be for the upcoming Gemini, two-man, flight series.

True pointed out that often as many as four different operations are going on at once "and one time we had five going."

One radar might be tracking a weather balloon, another tracking a missile and other equipment doing simulated countdowns involving different space projects.

The generator capacity at Kokee "will be more than doubled for the Apollo programs," True said.

This includes backup power to have handy in case of any power failure which could be disastrous during a manned flight. Kokee has never had a power failure, he said.

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