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February 7, 1966


JAMA. 1966;195(6):484. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100060124038

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Since Alan Shepard made his suborbital flight in May 1961, American astronauts have flown space missions of increasing importance and complexity. During 1965 ten astronauts made orbital flights as part of this country's preparation for a lunar expedition later in the decade. Unfortunately, much of the equipment used in manned flights cannot be tested completely prior to actual use. Thus the fact that no astronaut has sustained an injury during a space mission remains one of the most remarkable aspects of the space program. The officials, scientists, astronauts, and technicians responsible for this achievement deserve full credit. Of all the accomplishments of the brief, tumultuous era of space exploration, the complete safety of all missions is one of the most impressive.

Many problems of space exploration have a curiously familiar air to the historically minded. Technological progress, while impressive, seems almost inevitable. Given rockets and suitable fuel, of course a

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