Shrouding Space in Secrecy

A hush-hush shuttle mission pits the Pentagon against the press

For the past two decades manned space missions by the U.S. have been the most public of spectacles. To drum up popular support, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration staged space shots as television melodramas. But when Space Shuttle Mission 51-C lifts off from Florida's Kennedy Space Center next month, the flight will be shrouded in secrecy. For the first time in 45 U.S. manned space flights, reporters will not be supplied with the usual fact-stuffed press kits, or allowed to eavesdrop on communications...

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