Science: Paddle-Wheel Satellite

The U.S.'s Explorer VI, shot into orbit from Cape Canaveral last week (see NATIONAL AFFAIRS), was the most sophisticated satellite the U.S. has launched. Rigid arms like paddle wheels, whirling through the sunlight of empty space, were its most spectacular feature, designed to test the possibility of capturing enough energy from the sun to send messages across millions of miles (TIME, April 27). Such a durable source of energy is crucial to proposed space probes to Venus or farther planets, for there is little point in sending out space probes unless their transmitters can send information back to earth.

At launch, the...

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