The space shuttle Discovery crew played Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" during the latest "Star Wars" experiment, a choice described as "a touch of irony" in The Times article (June 22). Why ironic? Because, according to the journalist, the overture was written by a Russian to celebrate a Russian victory over Napoleon more than 100 years ago.

The journalist seems to have missed the real irony implicit in both the experiment and his report of it: that a vehicle representing the highest technology of the most advanced species of Earth is occupied with tasks of warfare. Below it, a living planet floats in lonely green-blue splendor through the void of space. That's irony.


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