Science: Prairie Schooner for Space

A journey of a thousand miles, said Chinese Philosopher Lao-tzu, must begin with a single step. So must a journey of millions of miles. Early in 1979 a squat and ungainly-looking craft known as a space-shuttle orbiter will open up a new age in space exploration—the era of the reusable spacecraft—by taking its first round trip around the earth and back. Last week the first of these craft stepped off on this journey into history. In a daylong trek, the ship was moved 58 kilometers (36 miles) across California's Mojave Desert from the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!