Science: Tugging at the Ropes

In the atomic age, 61 -year-old Dr. Jean Piccard, talking about his stratosphere gondola, sounds a little like a kind-faced granddaddy reminiscing about the fringe-topped surrey. Yet the Piccard plan for another balloon trip to the stratosphere—his first since 1934—interested scientists last week. Many, notably the Russians, believe that cosmic rays in the stratosphere hold the secrets to new atomic knowledge—perhaps bigger & better atomic bombs. If man can rise high enough, perhaps 20 miles (100,000 feet), he might dig around in these secrets. Jean Piccard thinks he can do it.

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