Space: Close Call over Kazakhstan

A near tragedy shakes Moscow and stirs up questions

"Accident! The engine worked 60 seconds and then shut off."

Never before had the world received so stunning a glimpse of a Soviet space crisis. Cramped inside a tiny capsule 155 miles above the earth, Commander Vladimir Lyakhov radioed mission control that something was desperately wrong. Seated beside him was a hastily trained Afghan cosmonaut, Abdul Ahad Mohmand. Replied a ground controller: "How are things with food?" Lyakhov: "There is no food." Controller: "What about the emergency rations?" Lyakhov: "They are there, but why touch them? We will be patient," he added, noting that there was no way to rid themselves...

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