Space Exploration: Voyage to the Morning Star

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The bone-weary scientists had worked all night. But as they walked away from the lab, they seemed curiously reluctant to quit. They loitered in the cool dawn and stared at the eastern horizon. There, the pale glow of Venus marked the morning—as it has done so many times since man learned to recognize Earth's nearest planetary neighbor.

On that December day, though, the morning star held a special attraction for the men of Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Almost as if they could see it all happening, they squinted into 36 million miles...

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