ARMED FORCES: One Down, One Up

With a shore-shaking roar, an 85-ft. Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile shot from its Cape Canaveral launching pad in Florida one afternoon last week, less than two minutes later ignominiously exploded. The failure of the missile (control-system malfunction, officials explained) was bad enough; worse, this Atlas was the first fully powered U.S.-made ICBM to be flight-tested. It carried for the first time a wedge-shaped tactical nose cone capable of carrying a hydrogen-bomb warhead, and it was powered by three engines that burned simultaneously from the moment of ignition and generated more than...

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