Defense: Closing the Gap

Even for sophisticated missile watchers, the men who have marked the flight of so many of Cape Canaveral's great fire-breathing birds, last week's show was a dazzling spectacle. The blast-off was swift and sure; there was none of that heart-stopping hover of other tests when liquid-fueled monsters seemed to balance in uncertain equilibrium before they picked up the momentum of flight. This time the gleaming, 58-ft. cylinder shot straight up into the sky ahead of its lengthening tail. Three seconds after launch, its guidance system took over, turned it into the southeast....

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