Science: Missile Whistle

The range safety officers at Cape Canaveral and other U.S. missile centers have a recurrent nightmare. A missile is climbing out perfectly; everything works, and there is no need to press the "destruct" button that sends a special radio signal racing after an errant missile and commands it to blow itself to bits. Yet suddenly the destruct system is activated, and the missile, possibly with a man atop it, explodes in a blossom of flame. The odds against such a mishap are small, but there is always a chance that an unintended signal perhaps...

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