Space: What Happened with Gemini 6

Another space mystery seemed close to solution last week. After painstaking analysis of hundreds of data-packed yards of magnetic tape, Air Force and NASA investigators offered a tentative explanation for the failure of an Agena rocket to soar into orbit as a target for the spacecraft Gemini 6. Looming unexpectedly out of the complex vocabulary of modern missilery, the Agena's trouble sounded as old-fashioned as a Model-T. The Agena's engine, said the scientific detectives, had backfired.

The Agena's problems began 368 seconds after launch. At that moment, precisely on schedule, fuming nitric...

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