July 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 3 
Letters to the Editor

Before the big blue marble

On Page 36 of the April 2005 magazine you have a wonderful photo of Earth taken from an Apollo spacecraft in lunar orbit in 1968. While it is a great photo in vivid color, Boeing should recall the first such photo of Earth from a lunar distance was taken on Aug. 23, 1966, by the Lunar Orbiter I Spacecraft. It was taken by a specially modified film camera that developed a negative that was scanned optically, digitally encoded, and transmitted to Earth; then it was reassembled in a film format and printed. At the time it was called "The Photo of the Century" by many newspapers.

The Lunar Orbiter Program was one of three unmanned activities to provide data for Apollo; in particular it photomapped all the landing sites at a resolution useful for astronaut training. As it turned out the Apollo photos were quickly and easily obtained, freeing the camera to take many other photos of scientific interest. The Earth photo simply turned out to be the most spectacular of all.

Yes, everyone loves the big blue marble, but it was foreshadowed by the Lunar Orbiter photographs that showed the world how we look from outer space.

—Dale Shellhorn, Tucson, Ariz.

Editor's note: Starting in August 1966, Boeing built five Lunar Orbiter spacecraft, which photomapped 99 percent of the Moon's surface, more than 14 million square miles, in the search for safe landing sites for Apollo manned landings.

One for the kids

One for the kidsI frequently fly with my two small children (ages 2 years and 2 months), so I am familiar with the difficulty of installing and removing infant and toddler car seats from airline seats. The designs of the buckles, the lengths of the straps and the FAA mandate that these seats be placed in the window seat make installing the seats difficult and removing them even more difficult. On one flight the attendants actually had to cut the seat belt strap so that the infant seat could be removed.

The design and launch of the 787 Dreamliner presents Boeing with the opportunity to correct this. If airline seats were equipped with the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system required of all automobiles sold in the United States, it would be much easier to install and remove the seats, so families could board and deplane more quickly to the benefit of themselves and the other passengers. The children would be safer because the infant seats would be securely fastened at a proper angle. I can vouch for many parents that Boeing would have loyal fans if they could make such a simple change!

“If 787 seats were equipped with the LATCH [child seat] system required of all automobiles sold in the United States, families could board and deplane more quickly to the benefit of themselves and the other passengers.”

—Tom Rose, St. Louis

Who are we?

Many non-Boeing folks do not understand us.

I was filling a prescription recently and the pharmacist noticed I worked for Boeing. She asked how the company was doing. I mentioned that we were doing very well, and that we had taken orders away from Airbus.

At that point, she interrupted. "Airbus is another company? I thought it was a brand name of Boeing. Like a Ford Mustang, a Boeing Airbus?" I had a great laugh over it.

However, on another aspect of how I interpreted her comments: "If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going" seems to be used by Boeing aficionados only. The public is more interested in getting there than they are in how. They do not know how ours are better than theirs are. If there was advertising towards the general public on the benefits of Boeing airplanes versus its competitors, it might sway the airlines towards us.

—Ned Sugzdinis, Philadelphia

Letters guidelines

Boeing Frontiers provides its letters page for readers to state their opinions. The page is intended to encourage an exchange of ideas and information that stimulates dialogue on issues or events in the company or the aerospace industry. The opinions may not necessarily reflect those of The Boeing Company. Letters must include name, organization and a telephone number for verification purposes. Letters may be edited for grammar, syntax and size.

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