Space: Molly's Laggard Lift

What went wrong last month when the Gemini capsule Molly Brown splashed into the Atlantic 60 miles short of its scheduled landing spot? Last week NASA's Dr. Homer Dotts firmly dispelled all rumors of a possible goof by Astronauts Gus Grissom and John Young. According to Dr. Dotts, the capsule did not develop as much lift during re-entry as had been predicted from preflight wind-tunnel tests. With less gliding ability, the capsule plunged earthward on a steep trajectory that aimed her short of the target. By the time Grissom had calculated the trajectory on his computer, and realized that...

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