AVIATION: Payoff for Pioneers

The coveted Government contract for the first space capsule designed to carry a man into orbit around the earth (see SCIENCE) went last week to St. Louis' McDonnell Aircraft Corp. The contract itself was modest—only $15 million—but the prestige is enormous. Twelve topflight companies submitted plans and bids on the project. McDonnell won because its president, James S. (for Smith) McDonnell Jr., and his engineers had long since anticipated the Government's needs. They had been working on the project with their own money for more than a year, before the Government decided...

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