Space: Mariner Goes Wrong

The U.S. attempt to explore Mars got off to a poor start last week. The Mariner C spacecraft, launched at Cape Kennedy, did not jettison its 300-lb. wind-shroud, and the extra weight kept it from attaining the 25,600 m.p.h. speed necessary to reach the red planet.

Blocked by the shroud, the spacecraft's solar panels did not open; they could not recharge the spacecraft's batteries, which soon went dead.

But failures are to be expected in so difficult a venture. A second spacecraft, Mariner D, is ready to go, and will be fired before the "window" (the favorable time when Mars is...

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