Discovery went into space without difficulty. Did you notice that the Soviet Union now has a space shuttle, looks like ours, only they say it is much different, but now America is allowed to forge ahead once more into space. A Soviet Interplanetary probe worth millions of dollars, ten miles out in space is tumbling out of control. Phobes I, veered from its 400 million mile path to Mars on September 9 after a controller at a space communications centre outside of Moscow gave the space craft an erroneous computer command. Phobe’s problem came a mere three days after a Soyus spaceship with two Cosmonauts aboard was temporarily marooned in orbit while returning to earth from the Soviet space station Mir.
In the United States where the space program is recovering from post Challenger jitters, and where loss of life has spawned time consuming investigations, and political problems, such embarrassing mishaps back to back might stall a program indefinitely. But in the Soviet Union with no reporters to watch every move, the drive goes on, and the Soviets have taken the lead in space. At least they think they have.