Buck Rogers and his space ships may soon be no laughing matter. At the meeting last night of the Harvard chapter of Gamma Alpha, national scientific fraternity, two professors agreed that from the physiological and technical standpoints, travel in interplanetary space is a probability perhaps realizable within the next thirty years.
Robert C. Cowen, the moderator, stated that "Space travel is a fact today. Now it lasts for a matter of a few minutes, but in the future it will last for days, weeks, or months."
Speaking on the physiological problems to be encountered with space ships, Dr. William J. Crozier, professor of General Physiology, pointed out that the fantastic speeds required, combined with a sense of weightlessness, will completely discoordinate body movements. However, he believes that all problems can be solved from a medical point of view.
Fred L. Whipple, professor of Astronomy, described the proposed methods of launching rocket ships and returning them to the earth. He considered dust particles a main danger, for at the speeds at which they travel in space, they can hit a ship like a .45 calibre bullet. He thought landing the rockets was the major problem. Atomic energy is not being considered for fuel, he said.
Whipple added that if present estimations are correct, for 2 billion dollars the U.S. could put a satellite about a thousand miles over the earth with a sign claiming, "This is U.S. property." The moderator said this is an international problem since Russia is determined that "if there is going to be a man in the moon, he's going to be a Russian."