Space: Self-Control in Soyuz 3

As Russia's newest cosmonaut, Colonel Georgy Beregovoy, piloted his spacecraft through a series of seemingly routine maneuvers last week, nervous U.S. space officials began to relax. The flight of Soyuz 3 did not suggest that the Soviets had moved ahead in the race to the moon. Indeed, there was growing suspicion that Soyuz had not even achieved its own limited objectives.

Twice during the mission, Beregovoy guided Soyuz 3 close to unmanned Soyuz 2 in a maneuver that the Russians described as priblezhenie, or approach. Western experts were at a loss to explain...