Science: One Hit, One Miss

As Mars moved into a favorable position last summer, the Russians sent four unmanned space ships on six-month voyages toward the Red Planet.

Last week the Russians disclosed that the first two craft had reached their destination. One of the ships, Mars 5, went into orbit around Mars, they reported, but the other, Mars 4, soared past it into deep space. Reason: Its braking rocket failed to fire.

Despite that mishap, the multiple Mars mission may well be successful. According to the Russians, Mars 4 came within 1,400 miles of Mars, close enough to take an undisclosed number of pictures. Furthermore, the...

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