Space: Tip on Re-entry

At first, U.S. and Soviet space scientists were far more concerned with what they sent up than with what came down. Now success has forced them to equalize their interest. The North American Air Defense Command, which is responsible for tracking earth-circling traffic, counts more than 1,300 objects in orbit. These have included not only satellites but last-stage boosters, drifting bolts, and an astronaut's glove and camera. By the immutable laws of gravity, all must one day come plunging down toward earth.

Last week, when remnants of the Soviets' Cosmos 61 shot whirled...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!