Space: Setback for Saturn

As the Saturn 5 lifted off its Cape Kennedy launching pad with dramatic precision last week, ground controllers had visions of a repeat of last November's near-perfect maiden flight of the giant rocket. Their optimism was premature. Only six minutes after lift off, Saturn encountered the first of a series of troubles that may cause a delay of months in landing the first astronauts on the moon.

After igniting successfully, two of the five second-stage J-2 engines inexplicably shut down nearly 2½ minutes early, reducing thrust by 400,000 lbs Although Saturn's sophisticated guidance-and- control...