Tokyo to New York With One Stop — Space

Illustration for TIME by Elwood Smith

Next month a B-52 will take off from Edwards Air Force Base in southern California carrying a payload that could spell the death of in-flight entertainment and plastic omelettes. Leaving the Mojave Desert, the crew will head for U.S. Navy test waters in the Pacific. On order, they will release a Pegasus missile from under their right wing and send it roaring up into the sky. At 31 km, more than double civil aviation altitude, a black, windowless, pilotless sliver of finned metal shaped like a flattened dart will separate from the Pegasus' nose and scream down into the ocean....

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