Planetary Exploration: Looking for Life

Although an onslaught of astronaut sniffles and sore throats at Cape Kennedy last week delayed the orbital flight of Apollo 9, an unmanned spacecraft named Mariner 6 was successfully launched from a nearby pad. Its ambitious mission: to search for evidence that life can exist on Mars.

High above the atmosphere, Mariner unfolded its four rectangular solar panels and wheeled around until sensors locked onto the sun and the star Canopus, stabilizing the 850-lb. craft in space. Then, right on course, the complex space traveler settled down for a five-month, 226 million-mile...

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