Science: Treasure from the Moon

Even to veteran splashdown watchers Apollo 16's return to earth last week was a spectacle of rare beauty. The slow blossoming of the spacecraft's three orange and white parachutes against the bright, azure sky seemed designed for maximum drama. Then, in a final demonstration of precision, the spacecraft Casper hit the water only one mile off the bow of the recovery carrier Ti-tonderoga. Once out of its natural element, Casper immediately capsized; it bobbed nose down in the choppy South Pacific for five minutes until the astronauts—strapped in upside-down and rapidly becoming queasy—righted it with three flotation bags. That brief...

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