Space: Grounded Astronaut

Once again the U.S. braced to hurl Marine Lieut. Colonel John Glenn into orbit about the earth—and once again the flight was canceled.

This time the trouble was traced to a layer of insulation in the Atlas-D's giant fuel tank (65 ft. high; 10 ft. in diameter). The insulation had somehow absorbed some kerosene-like fuel, which is mixed with liquid oxygen when the missile is fired. Engineers set about correcting the fault, and space scientists got ready to start the complex preflight tests all over again. Scheduled date for the next try: Feb. 13.


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