Science: Mission Misfire

Even as the U.S. and the Soviet Union step up preparations for July's orbital linkup of an Apollo and a Soyuz spacecraft, many American officials have quietly been expressing their concern that Russian space skills may not be equal to the demands of that historic mission. Last week those doubts were dramatically reinforced. Only minutes after its launch, a Soyuz spacecraft with two cosmonauts on board made a forced landing some 1,000 miles downrange in the rugged 13,000-ft.-high Altai Mountains of western Siberia.

In a 15-line dispatch, Tass reported that the mission was aborted when an upper stage of the Vostok booster...

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