National Affairs: Second Stage

More important than the rumbling of the defense debate last week was the roar of a 110-ton Titan intercontinental ballistic missile lifting cleanly into space with 300,000 pounds of thrust. After nine months of frustrating failure at its Cape Canaveral pads (which crews had dubbed "the inferiority complex"), Titan No. B7A got off to its first two-stage flight. Two minutes and 50 miles downrange, its second stage kicked in with 80.000 pounds of thrust, a roar heard round the world because Titan's 41-foot, 24-ton second stage is the largest vehicle known to have...

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!