Space: Rounding Up the Runaways

For the first time ever, astronauts snare two errant satellites in space

For a few hours against the crisp backdrop of space, the rompin', stompin' show was something like Sir Lancelot Goes to the Rodeo. Bracing his "stinger" spear against his stomach and gently using the thrusters on his $15 million jet-powered backpack like spurs on a well-trained cow pony, Astronaut Joe Allen rode easily into position beside the silvery dragon, or maybe it was a bull: Palapa-B2, the 9-ft.-high communications satellite with a mast and dish antenna atop. He crept up on the...

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