Space: The Need for Pictures

U.S. space scientists may not be able to explain the last-minute failure of Ranger 6 for weeks — if ever. As the spacecraft hurtled toward the moon's Sea of Tranquillity, it sent back a vast amount of data; it reported on its changing internal temperature, its bat tery voltages, the position of its antennas. But none of the information that Ranger sent back has yet accounted for the failure of its TV cam eras. "We're still studying it," said Director William Pickering of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "I'm trying to leave the boys alone."...

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