National Affairs: The Flight of Big Annie

Twice before, "Big Annie"—as her caretakers called the Atlas—had had to be blown up just after launching. Since then the Russians had shot two Sputniks aloft, indicating a long Red stride in intercontinental missilery. As the crews at Cape Canaveral got Big Annie III ready for her try last week, they worked coolly, deliberately, as though they were determined not to think of the stakes. But they knew all right, and so did the whole base, as the red-eyed crewmen plodded home to snatch a sandwich and a couple of hours of sleep and...

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