Defense: Space Hits and Misses

Space Hits and Misses

The beleaguered U.S. space community enjoyed a boost to its morale last week. First a weather satellite was launched without a hitch atop a refurbished 25- year-old Atlas-E rocket. Then an MX Peacekeeper test missile, lofted into space from Vandenberg Air Force Base, neatly deployed its six dummy warheads 4,200 miles downrange in the southern Pacific, the 14th straight success for the program.

More important, there were unexpected Soviet failures to gloat over. An SS-N-8 missile, launched two weeks ago from a submarine in the Barents Sea and aimed at the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Siberia, went astray and, in an...

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