Science: Sky Catch

In a virtuoso feat that is rapidly becoming standard operating procedure, an Air Force C-119 cargo plane equipped with a grappling hook last week snagged in mid-air a third Discoverer satellite — a 300-lb. gold-plated capsule that had traveled more than a million miles in polar orbit before being parachuted near Hawaii upon pushbutton command from a control room in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Discoverer XVIII's primary mission was another step in the perfection of two space-age military reconnaissance techniques: the Samos system for camera detection of such ground-level activity as troop movements, and the Midas early missile-warning system, which is said to detect...

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