Science: Death of a Cosmonaut

For months, Moscow had been hinting at new space spectaculars to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. When a brand-new spacecraft called Soyuz 1 was launched into orbit last week carrying veteran Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, 40, it seemed certain that the first manned Soviet flight since March 1965 was aimed at overtaking and even surpassing the faltering U.S. Apollo program. Barely 24 hours later, Komarov was dead, killed in a crash landing that may ground the Russian man-in-space program for months.

There was good reason to believe that Komarov's ill-fated flight...

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