SPACE: A Lap in the Race

Breathless scientist, to returning spaceman: Is there any life on Mars?

Spaceman: Well, there's a little on Saturday night, but it's awfully dead the rest of the week.

That loping shaggy dog was good for a laugh on both sides of the Potomac last week, and the laugh was not so much the measure of a joke as a symbol of Washington's high spirits about U.S. progress in the space race. In one spectacular month the U.S. has lapped the Russians—not with any single spectacular display such as Sputnik or the moon shots,...

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