Space: Russian Mystery Shots

At least seven times in the past eleven months, mysterious Russian unmanned space shots launched from the Soviet cosmodrome at Tyuratam, Kazakhstan, have set off flurries of speculation among U.S. space and military experts. All seven seem to have been attempts to return payloads to earth in one orbit or less, and all have had un usually inclined elliptical orbits with abnormally low perigees.

What is the purpose of the shots?

The Russians are not talking. The first in the series, fired without announcement from Tyuratam on Sept. 17, 1966, was observed by...

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