Science: Out of This World

The Navy claimed a big record last week. Although the figures were secret, the carefully worded announcement said that at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert, the Douglas Skyrocket (D558-2) had "attained the highest speed and altitude ever recorded by a piloted plane."

The little (4O-ft.) white Skyrocket had waited a long time for its day of glory. Built as a Navy experimental ship, it made its first take-off from Muroc's long, dry lake bed almost three years ago. Even then it could crack through the sonic barrier, but for a supersonic...

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