National Geographic : 1957 Apr
watch. The scientists manned switches and dials. 1)own went the count. "X minus three seconds ... two ... one .. .fire ". In the thin. cold, silent air 80.000 feet above the Pacific the rocket streaked toward the high heavens. I)p. ul, upl soared the trim missile, its instruments alert, sensing and reporting the state of the ionosphere. As the rocket approached an altitude of 73 miles, it slowed to a stop and then began its fall. Meanwhile, back in the trailer. " 'Any Lyman alpha??" "Yes, it's showing." "How alout X rays?" "0(). K." "And aspect?" (The rocket's changing position relative to earth.) C(om)ing in fine. but it shows the rocket is spin ning fast." Five and a half minutes later the needles on the dia ls suddenly stopped moving. The rocket had splashed into the ocean 100 miles away. "Well. how (did it go? I asked 1)r. Friedman. He advised patience: the lan 567 ine,,,,, si . , Last to Leave Deck Is the Balloon's Payload Ioused in the rocket's vacu um-tiichtl head are 16 pounds of electronic equipment, including 2) tubes. 200 resistors, battery,. and dl\namotor. A four-channel radio transmitter il teamss signals concerning four different wa\e'..a lengths of solar radiation. Technicians here steady the rocket. Man at right cuts the tether. I)anulin a canvas Ihau contains the firing mechanism. which a radio signal from the ship ill activate at S0,000 feet. The missile hanus at a seven dlere angle so as to miss the equipment belso the balloon when it takes off.