Space: Coupling by Computer

Hard on the heels of its successful Venus landing, and just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, Russia announced last week that its space scientists had carried out an automatic rendezvous, docking and separation of two unmanned earth satellites.

Probably launched from the Tyuratam Cosmodrome in central Kazakhstan, the first of the satellites, Cosmos 186, lifted off on Oct. 27. Western scientists immediately noted that it was traveling in an orbit remarkably similar to that of Soyuz 1, which crashed on landing last April, killing Soviet Cosmonaut Vladimir...

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