Astronomy: Measuring Moisture For Chances of Life

The giant balloon hoisted the Johns Hopkins telescope 16 miles high—high enough to get it up above most of the dust and water vapor in the Earth's atmosphere, high enough for a clear look at the dark-blue daytime sky where stars and planets glow with hardly diminished brilliance. Most important of all, it was high enough for the mechanized scope to scan accurately the infra red rays from the sun that were being bounced off Venus.

Laboratory Match. Measured by the 180-million-mile voyage of the space craft Mariner II that took it within...

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