A Letter From The Publisher: Apr. 27, 1981

The spectacular landing of the space shuttle Columbia at Edwards Air Force Base in California was made possible by a rare combination of teamwork and planning. Those were also essential components in TIME'S coverage of the historic mission. Last week, as the shuttle glided to a pinpoint touchdown on the dusty runway at Rogers Dry Lake, Los Angeles Bureau Chief Benjamin Cate and Correspondent Joseph Kane were on hand to record the breathtaking moment. With accommodations in short supply, the self-described "odd couple" rented a 29-ft. recreational vehicle that they parked just 100...

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