Space Exploration: Venus Probed

If a super-powerful telescope had been trained on the morning star last week, it might have seen a tiny, spidery object all vanes and antennae, creep slowly past the blazing crescent of Venus. This was the U.S. space-probe Mariner II. For more than four months it had drifted away from the earth, coasting down a long ellipse toward the orbit of Venus. Its radio voice grew faint as the miles multiplied into millions, then into tens of millions. But it was never too faint heard by anxious scientists at Goldstone station in the Mojave Desert....

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