Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, May 12, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:11



Mountain Views-News Saturday, May 12, 2018 


NASA has received radio signals indicating that 
the first-ever CubeSats headed to deep space are 
alive and well. Engineers will now be performing 
a series of checks before both CubeSats enter their 
cruise to deep space.

 Mars Cube One, or MarCO, is a pair of briefcase-
sized spacecraft that launched May 5 along with 
NASA’s InSight Mars lander from Vandenberg 
Air Force Base in Central California. InSight is a 
scientific mission that will probe the Red Planet’s 
deep interior for the first time. The name stands for 
Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, 
Geodesy and Heat Transport.

 The twin MarCO CubeSats are on their own 
separate mission: rather than collecting science, 
they will follow the InSight lander on its cruise to 
Mars, testing out miniature spacecraft technology 
along the way.

 Both were programmed to unfold their solar 
panels soon after launch, followed by several 
opportunities to radio back their health.

 “Both MarCO-A and B say ‘Polo!’ It’s a sign that 
the little sats are alive and well,” said Andy Klesh, 
chief engineer for the MarCO mission at NASA’s 
Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, 
which built the twin spacecraft.

 The computers inside each MarCO CubeSat 
haven’t been turned on since being tested at 
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis 
Obispo, in mid-March, where they were prepared 
for launch by Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems of 
Irvine, California. Each spacecraft had to do a 
lot of things right by itself for the team to hear a 
signal: batteries had to retain enough charge for 
the spacecraft to deploy their solar arrays, stabilize 
their attitude, turn toward the Sun and turn on 
their radios.

 A couple of weeks will be spent assessing how 
the MarCO CubeSats are performing. If they 
survive the radiation of space and function as 
planned, they’ll fly over the Red Planet during 
InSight’s entry, descent and landing in November. 
They each have a special antenna to relay InSight’s 
vital signs during the infamous “Seven Minutes of 
Terror,” the crucial phase which has claimed the 
majority of humanity’s probes sent to land on the 
Red Planet.

 CubeSats are a kind of boxy satellite invented 
to teach engineering students how to build 
spacecraft. Today, they offer access to space for 
private companies and research institutions. 
They’re just one kind of “SmallSat,” which includes 
a broad range organized by weight class. CubeSats 
are generally under 33 pounds and can weigh as 
little as about five pounds. They’re distinctively 
modular, which makes it easier to buy “plug-in” 
parts rather than custom-design every part of the 

 NASA is taking the opportunity to test several 
experimental systems with MarCO. Their radios, 
folding high-gain antennas, attitude control and 
propulsion systems are all included to prove new 
technologies in deep space.

 “We’re nervous but excited,” said Joel Krajewski 
of JPL, MarCO’s project manager. “A lot of work 
went into designing and testing these components 
so that they could survive the trip to Mars and relay 
data during InSight’s landing. But our broader 
goal is to learn more about how to adapt CubeSat 
technologies for future deep-space missions.”

 You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder




[Nyerges is the author of 
“Til Death Do Us Part?”, 
“Squatter in Los Angeles,” 
“How to Survive Anywhere,” 
and others. He conducts 
field trips and seminars. 
For more information, 
contact him at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, 
or on-line at He 
also participates in the exploring the real meaning 
of holidays via WTI, at] 
One of the victims of our uniquely “American”-
style capitalism and greed is the demise of real 
meaning within our many holy days and holidays. 
There is plenty of blame to go around for this, even 
beginning with the marketing of holiday “stuff” by 
the various stores, the media for going-along-with 
the pablum messages, and the general population 
for passively accepting this dumbing-down of our 
sacred traditions.

 When we reduce what should be a time of great 
reflection and learning to a time of buying foods and 
“stuff,” we become the victims of our own ignorance. 
We deprive ourselves of these annual reminders that 
our lives should be something more, something 
greater than merely going through some pointless 
physical motions. 

 Mother’s Day is therefore not alone in the way 
it has been outright perverted. And this is really 
sad, since everything begins at home. A child learns 
all his or her values in the home. We have heard it 
said that charity begins at home, but much more 
begins at home. He who is undisciplined at home 
will practice that same undisciplined thinking in the 
workplace, at school, and in the community, even 
though such is easier to hide “out there” than it is at 

 He or she who practices hypocrisy and dishonesty 
at home will practice the same in the workplace, at 
school, and in the community. This is so, despite 
the defensive denials of so many public officials who 
want the gullible among us to believe that what they 
do at home is wholly separate from “their job.” No! 
That’s a big lie. The idea that we can think and act 
one way at home, and another in the community, 
is absurd! The home is the fundamental “training 
ground” where one’s ideas and ideals and principles 
can be practiced and tested “safely,” and where one 
can grow and evolve, hopefully amidst a loving and 
concerned family.

 The mother is more often than not the heart of 
family, carrying on a 24-hour a day job. The ultimate 
essence of motherhood is self-discipline. First, self-
discipline to conduct one’s self in a manner that is a 
fitting example to one’s children. After all, children 
“learn” the most from watching what their parents 
do. Then there is the self-discipline of motherhood 
to see that all the physical and emotional and 
spiritual needs of the children are tended to. 

 In the traditional family where the father works 
at a regular job and the mother raises the children, 
the mother’s job is far more important and far 
harder than men ever give them credit for. The 
average man’s job is relatively simply. He get ups, 
eats breakfast, goes to a job, works, comes home, eat 
dinners, maybe goes to a meeting in the evening, 
goes to bed, and repeats it all the next day. 

 But the scope of responsibility of a mother at 
home is much vaster than the father’s. The mother 
who exemplifies the Principle of Motherhood 
is working at a level akin to a CEO of a company, 
focusing on the education, security, nutrition, and 
spirituality of the children. The mother, more often 
than not, is the psychologist and nurse, and provider 
of entertainment and stimulating mental activities. 
Of course, all this is taking place while the mother 
must put many of her personal desires on the back 

 The point that is lost on so many of us today is that 
we have confused “the Principle of Motherhood” 
with a female body who has given birth to at least 
one child. This is a serious error in our thinking. The 
Principle of Motherhood is a Universal Principle, 
which means it’s there to be studied and learned by 
anyone, including men (actually, especially men). 
The principles of motherhood can and should be 
studied, and practiced by all. It begins with a way 
of thinking, a way of taking responsibility, a way 
of embracing, a way of loving. Men are the most 
deficient in motherhood principles because they 
have been duped (by their peers, by society, by 
themselves) into thinking that since they reside in 
male bodies, they needn’t be concerned about that 
female stuff. 

 Men attempting to learn the principles of 
Motherhood create balanced and stronger men. 
This is equally true for women attempting to learn 
and apply the principles of Fatherhood.

 Men perform spiritual violence upon our beloved 
mothers when we fall for the grossest Mother’s Day 
marketing campaigns -- such as buying chocolates, 
perfume, or jewelry. (Did you already do that? Well, 
there’s always next year!) 

 We have attempted for years to explore the real 
underlying meanings of each holiday and Holy day, 
and this effort has opened our eyes to how ignorant 
we have all chosen to become. Becoming part of 
the solution to this problem may seem difficult 
and socially-unacceptable. Though picnics and 
heart-felt hand-written cards have their place, it 
is also good to take the time on Mother’s Day to 
recognize and honor our mothers, and to find ways 
that all of us can emulate those highest principles of 

Celebrating another “Mother’s Day,” gave opportunity 
to reflect on the influence and importance of 
mothers in our society today. I think for the most 
part mothers get a bad rap these days, or at least they 
don’t get the kind of appreciation they truly deserve, 
and they sure don’t get the pay-package they earn. 
Of course, if they did nobody could afford a mother.

 Sometimes it’s great to remember the personal 
influence a person’s mother has had on them 
throughout the years. It was Abraham Lincoln who 
said, “All I am or ever hope to be I owe to my mother.” 
Perhaps he said this in lieu of a Mother’s Day card. 
Why didn’t I think of that?

 Because of the way God has designed things, 
a person’s mother is the first relationship he or she 
has in life. If it is a good relationship, it will have a 
positive influence throughout a person’s lifetime.

Of course, there are those who have never known 
their mother. Perhaps she died in childbirth or maybe 
a few days or months after giving birth. The cause is 
not important, the real importance is the fact that a 
person never really gets to know his or her mother.

 Even for us who have had mothers in our lives, it is 
often difficult to say we knew our mothers. Because 
nothing in all of God’s creation is quite like a mother. 
All I know is, they start out as women, which may 
explain a lot.

 From my youth I recognized a big difference 
between my mother and my father. I could never 
really put my finger on it until years after I left home. 
Looking back over my life and appreciating some of 
her influences in my life, I began to understand some 
things about my mother.

 The most astounding thing I discovered about my 
mother is that mothers are not fathers.

 I know this may come as a shock to many people; 
it came as a terrific shock to me. I’m not sure I have 
gotten over it yet. I knew there was a difference 
somewhere, but I really could not put my finger on it 
until I made this awesome discovery.

 Once the shock of this truth waned, I gave this 
some thought and came up with a few comparisons 
that helped me understand the difference.

 For example, I remember my mother always 
having a funny smell about her not quite like the good 
earthy aroma my father had. My mother always went 
to great pains so she would smell “pretty.” I never did 
like perfume. It made my nose burn. I remember 
liking the smell of my father. It was just more natural. 
And some days it was more natural than other days.

 As I think of my mother, I remember she was 
highly allergic to dirt, while my father was quite 
at home with it. Whenever I would come into the 
house with dirt from head to toe, my mother would 
go into some kind of hysterical fit wanting me to take 
off all my clothes and get in the tub right away, and 
sometimes, it was not even Saturday night.

 Father, on the other hand, seemed happier when 
he was the dirtiest. Dirt never seemed to bother him. 
Grease spots or grass stains never offended him at all. 
But all of this offended my mother.

 With a “holier-than-thou” air she would always 
say, “Cleanliness is next to godliness.”

 I’ve often thought to myself, if God did not like 
dirt why did he make so much of it? And, why was it 
so much fun to play in?

 Another thing I noticed about my mother was that 
she didn’t know how to play catch in the backyard 
with her children. When she tried, she always 
threw like a girl. Father, on the other hand, caught 
everything, especially flak from mother. He caught 
everything she could throw, even a fit or two.

 My mother was always laying down the law while 
father just lay down. I think my mother had some 
kind of nervous problem because she never could sit 
still long enough to really relax. Dad, could relax just 
about anywhere, and he did... often.

 My mother and father made a good team, 
particularly in the building business. I can remember 
my mother always raised the roof while father 
enjoyed painting the town. My brother, sister and I 
enjoyed the painting exercises of my father, which 
may explain why his finances were always in the red.

 Another thing I observed about my mother and 
mothers in general for that matter. There are times 
when mothers will have a good bawl for no reason, 
while fathers just loved having a ball for no reason.

I’m sure there were other differences between my 
mother and my father. When I realized that mothers 
are not fathers, the whole world began to make 
more sense to me. A good father is a perfect balance 
between a mother and a boy.

 The Bible encourages us to honor both our 
father and mother. “My son, keep thy father’s 
commandment, and forsake not the law of thy 
mother:” (Proverbs 6:20).

 Perhaps wise Solomon had our generation in 
mind when he wrote, “There is a generation that 
curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.” 
(Proverbs 30:11).

 Mothers may not be fathers but they are exactly 
what God ordered.

 The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of 
God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He 
lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. 
Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@ The church web site is www.whatafellowship.

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