Space: To Strive, To Seek, To Find, And Not To Yield . . .

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Death could have come in any number of bizarre ways. In the explosion of an errant rocket in the view of millions on TV; in the instant incineration of a capsule out of control during the treacherous reentry into the earth's heavy atmosphere; in the coffin of a malfunctioning craft unable to descend that orbits, orbits, orbits in the spatial void while power ebbs and life leaks away in slow suffocation.

But the first three U.S. astronauts to die on duty were motionless and earth-bound when they were killed last week....

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