Science: Hypermissile

The long-range, thermonuclear ballistic missile is an "ultimate" weapon in only one sense: defense against it is so difficult that it may prove impossible. But if adequate defense is ever achieved, missiles can learn new tricks and become "ultimate" again.

This month's Jet Propulsion is devoted to hypervelocity flight—the perilous maneuvers of futuristic vehicles flying at 10,000 m.p.h. and more in the thin, high fringe of the atmosphere. In the eyes of out-front rocket men, the ballistic missiles that dominate today's military dreams are pretty crude jobs, outmoded even before they are built....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!