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October 31, 2018 The Signal page 13

Features

Engineer recalls broadcasting space missions

Sam Shaw / Staff Photographer

Russell discusses the process of airing the moon landing on TV.

By Camille Furst News Assistant

The Sarnoff Collection presented an exhibit focusing on the the execution, recording and broadcasting of the Apollo missions on Oct. 24 in Roscoe West Hall. The collection, which documents the progress of the Radio Corporation of

America from its inception to the present day, exhibited multiple RCA inventions that advanced national communication, specifically the manned space program. The company gained contracts from NASA to be the official corporation to record all missions into space. The audience was given time to explore the exhibit and become familiar with the

RCA, which was followed by a presentation from Sam Russell, the former project engineer at RCA Astro-Electronics. Ever since he was a child, Russell was always intrigued by the idea of travel, space “and the possibility that someday a man might walk on the moon,” he said. After attending both Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Rochester Institute of Technology, he was able to exercise his engineering expertise during the Gemini GT-4 mission in 1965. Being one of six sailing out from Peru, he was part of the communication team during NASA’s first trip into space. “NASA decided just then to make this the first time a man has direct contact with space,” Russell said. “It was a really exciting time.” The minutiae of the “extremely slow” communication he was working with was juxtaposed with the monumental moment of man’s first contact with space heightened his passion for astroelectronics and communication. Although Russell said he was not directly involved with most of these missions, models of the communication devices used in these undertakings were presented at the exhibit. However, during Apollo 11 — the first mission to put man on the moon— Russell worked with other NASA employees who were working on the project in the TV

laboratory in Houston as part of the AstroElectronics Division of RCA. There were many complications with the previous Apollo missions in terms of recording it and having it broadcasted on television. For example, in a previous mission, the exposure of the picture was too high and the picture went blank. Because of the mistakes of capturing images of the previous missions, the stakes were high with Apollo 11. “Everyone’s reputation was on the line,” Russell said. “The whole Earth was watching. The most relief was when that picture came on the screen.” Russell then elaborated on the technology used for this mission. For it to be broadcasted to the country, it “was a separate autonomous television station” that was grounded on the moon. Audience members were enthralled by the revelation of these nuances involved in such a major space mission. Engineers, photographers and students alike were in attendance. College President Kathryn Foster also attended the presentation to learn about the “history of a memory.” “This kind of presentation brings people onto the campus who might never have otherwise come,” Foster said. “The Sarnoff Collection is phenomenal. I hope that people will go check it out.”

Forensic anthropologist discusses death of migrants Lecture shines light on humanitarian crisis at border By Arshya Chopra Correspondent Forensic anthropologist Angela Soler does not study immigration the way most researchers do — she works along the border and returns the remains of the dead back to their families. Soler spoke to students about undocumented migrant deaths on the U.S.-Mexico border on Oct. 23 in the Education Building Room 100. Soler is currently a primary research member of the American Academy of Forensic Scientists. She spoke about the humanitarian crisis behind the immigration issue and its long-lasting effects.

“Undocumented migrants are dying in the deserts of U.S. borderlands,” she said. “The crisis is a cause of economic marginalization, distrust on the government, civilian victimization and government incapability.” According to Soler, people need to focus on limiting the deaths of largely innocent people who are simply in search of a better life. People make the decision to immigrate for a variety of reasons — some want to improve their economic status while others cross the border to escape violence on the streets of their home country or to reunite with their family members who successfully fled years ago. The main causes of death

For every deceased individual, you have to think about the other side of the issue— all the people that are still missing.” — Angela Soler Forensic anthropologist

for migrants include snake bites, falling in the desert and vehicular accidents, according to Soler. “Since 1994, over 7,000 people have died crossing the U.S. border,” she said. “In the heat of a summer, someone can become completely skeletonized within a week.” The journey of crossing the border is dangerous and often costly. Many save up for years to pay a smuggler to help them cross the border. This journey is tough and the migrants are directly subjected to morbid geographical conditions and safety hazards, according to Soler. Soler is in collaboration with the Colibri Center for Human Rights, a non-governmental organization that works to end migrant death and related suffering along the U.S.-Mexico border. “The NGO helps raise consciousness about the scenario on the border to spread awareness about the serious human rights crisis,” she said. “They take detailed information about the dead immigrant on their database and through a series of biomedical research, they help in matching them with their family.” Soler spoke at the College in an effort to raise awareness about an issue that she believes is unrepresented in the discussion of immigration. According to Soler, those who do not have a direct connection to the border

Meagan McDowell / Photo Editor

Soler spreads awareness of migrants’ struggles.

lack exposure to the topic. “Unless you physically live in the border region, it’s not something that many people are even aware of,” she said. According to Soler, people often feel that the socio-economic fabric of their country will start changing with an influx of immigrants, which creates a fear and criminalization of immigration. Because of this fear among U.S. citizens, many

are afraid that reporting a missing family member will result in legal consequences. “How many people want to approach law enforcement when their family went missing at the border?” she said. “There are a lot of individuals who haven’t even been reported as missing at this point. For every deceased individual, you have to think about the other side of the issue— all the people that are still missing.”

Profile for TCNJ Signal

The Signal: Fall '18 No. 9  

The 10/31/18 issue of The Signal, The College of New Jersey's student newspaper

The Signal: Fall '18 No. 9  

The 10/31/18 issue of The Signal, The College of New Jersey's student newspaper

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