Chile Quest in the Pacific

Chile Quest in the Pacific

For archaeologists, tiny Easter Island, located in the Pacific more than 2,000 miles west of mainland Chile, is a treasure. Its giant brooding stone figures, fashioned centuries ago, look stoically out to sea, their purpose an age-old mystery. For the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, there is a different attraction: NASA would like to use Easter Island as a possible emergency landing site for the space shuttle. Under a plan proposed to Chile, which owns the 45.5-sq.-mi. speck, NASA would spend an estimated $11 million to lengthen the 8,500-ft. local runway by about half a mile, strengthen its surface and...

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