The Nation: Maiden Flight of the Mated Birds

Inevitably, the strange sight of the two ungainly aircraft, one on top of the other, inspired a steady stream of barnyard jokes. In the Los Angeles Times, Cartoonist Paul Conrad sketched the intertwined pair perched on a runway and captioned his drawing: "Not tonight, Dear, I have a headache ..."

Yet the odd couple last week marked another milestone in the space age. For the first time, a vehicle designed to orbit the earth, land and fly again was flight-tested—but not alone. As 10,000 people watched, the U.S. space-shuttle orbiter Enterprise soared off a...

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