Science: Second Push

All satellites so far have gone into elliptical orbits, rising considerably higher above the earth on one side than on the other. Some of the lopsided orbits have been intentional, to give information about thick layers of space. Others, although unwanted, were unavoidable. Once the original rockets had burned out, there was no power available to correct the orbit. Last week Lockheed Aircraft Corp. announced development of a rocket engine that can fire a second time, enabling ground controllers or an automatic mechanism to kick a straying satellite into a circular orbit by picking the moment to set off the second...

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