Science: Mapping the Moon

Second of the week's big shots sent a smaller bird aloft, but the flight of the Ranger VIII moon probe was an even greater achievement. After a 66-hour, 234,300-mile trip, the spacecraft's six cameras panned across the luminous lunar surface taking thousands of snapshots of the great craters and dusty plains that U.S. astronauts hope to explore. Before the automated voyager crashed within 15 miles of its preselected impact point, the exquisite accuracy of all its maneuvers testified to the growing skill of U.S. spacemen.

Hitting the moon at all with a man-made missile is a prodigy of calculation and performance, and...

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