Space: Racing to Win the Heavens

Well-funded Soviet cosmonauts rack up a string of triumphs

The Soviet TV commentator was clearly excited. "The parachute is coming down, coming down!" he repeated rapidly. "Coming down!" Beneath the plume of a red-and-white chute one morning last week, a capsule drifted earthward carrying three cosmonauts, Leonid Kizim, 43, Vladimir Solovyev, 38, and Oleg Atkov, 35, to the arid steppes of Soviet Kazakhstan. The triumphant trio, who had been aloft since last February aboard an orbiting Soviet space station, were the possessors of a new space endurance record: a 237-day spin through the...

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