SPACE: Humbler Hopes

"The public's hopes have been raised too high," said an Air Force officer, referring to Defense Secretary Neil McElroy's prediction earlier this year that the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile would be operational by July. A succession of five firing failures had washed out the deadline, also considerably sobered Air Force and Convair pressagents. Last week the Air Force reported with relief that an Atlas C, an advanced test model, had passed a routine countdown, then soared some 5,000 miles downrange from Cape Canaveral to deliver its one-ton nose cone with satisfying accuracy...

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