Science: First Lift-Off

The U.S. moved another stride toward the day when man will blast into space, and return, gliding through the atmosphere perhaps on red-hot wings to land at a chosen spaceport. At California's Edwards Air Force Base last week, a ponderous B-52 jet bomber lumbered down the runway, its engines spouting black smoke. From the rear it did not look right; it was lopsided, with a goodish-sized object hung unsymmetrically under its right wing. As the bomber broke ground, it listed slightly from the dragging weight.

The object tucked like a streamlined fledgling under the...

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