Science: Yuri's Flaming Descent

To the crew of an orbiting spaceship, the earth below may seem a multicolored haven—distant blue oceans and brown-and-green continents flecked with white clouds. But well-trained astronauts will know that a dangerous ordeal—a flaming return through the atmosphere—stands between them and home. Only one man, Major Yuri Gagarin of the U.S.S.R., has made such a descent. Last week in Pravda he described the long dive.

At 10:15 a.m. Moscow time, said Gagarin, he was over Africa, and the spaceship's automatic controls signaled that back in Russia preparations were being made to turn on...

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