Science: Policing the Big Beat

Scientists studying the provisions of the nuclear test ban treaty have voiced few fears about their ability to detect most violations—either under water or in the atmosphere. But what about the farther reaches of space? On that problem, even wishful thinkers have their doubts. "What if the Russians run a clandestine test behind the moon?" they ask. "Or do it forty million miles away from the earth?"

These are not idle fears, but U.S. nuclear authorities have not been idle about them either. For five years the Atomic Energy Commission has anxiously been pushing a project code-named Vela-Hotel, designed to detect...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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