National Affairs: Medium-Sized

At dawn one morning last week, three red-tailed 6-293 took off from New Mexico's Kirtland Air Force Base and began circling over the AEC's atomic proving grounds at Frenchman's Flat. On the desert below, the Army was supposed to have set up infantry positions, emplaced artillery, and deployed tanks. At 7:20, the 6-295 slid into formation and swept over the target. A blinding, dome-shaped flash lit up the sky; the familiar, mushroom-topped cloud shot up to 20,000 feet. Three hours later, a loo-mile-long radioactive cloud was still trailing across the horizon.

As usual, the AEC maintained a guarded silence, admitting only...

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