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Congress had stars in its eyes. . . .

But the Reagan administration planned to ignore the UN space conference on Aug. 9 in Austria. Congressmen sought US participation to defend America's image against such critics as the Soviet Union and third world nations.

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US militarization of space is likely to be a primary issue. Rep. Larry Winn of Kansas, ranking Republican on a space subpanel, pushed the White House to prepare for a strong US show at the meeting.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the State Department came through, but only at the last minute. Their 35-member team will have only one meeting before leaving.

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