Space: Happy to Help Out

Happy to Help Out

The Soviet salesmen touring the U.S. last week certainly made an aggressive capitalistic pitch: since NASA is out of the business of launching commercial satellites, the Soviet Union would happily fill the void -- for a reasonable price. The delegation from the civilian space agency Glavkosmos visited Washington and Houston, offering to loft U.S. satellites for about half the price of a ride on the European Ariane rocket. To assuage U.S. fears that technological secrets would be compromised, the Soviets even offered to accept the satellites in sealed packages.

The response from American companies was short of nyet, but it was...

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