Science: The Little Spacecraft That Could

Voyager 2 brings cheer during NASA's worst week

Largely overshadowed by the tragic loss of Challenger, the feats of the indomitable Voyager 2 last week provided the only bright notes during the U.S. space program's darkest hours. As the 1,800-lb. spacecraft sped away from its close encounter with Uranus, it continued its flawless performance, transmitting data and pictures that are gradually stripping away some of the mysteries of the planet. At NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., nearly 2 billion miles away, William McLaughlin, the Voyager flight- engineering manager, could speak only in superlatives as he reviewed the data. Said he: "I think it is the most successful...

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