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With America’s Shuttle Now Grounded, Russia Looks To Edge Ahead In Global Space Race

The end of the U.S. space shuttle program could be just what the doctor ordered for NASA’s old rival, the Russian Federal Space Agency, whose Soyuz rockets are now the only show in town when it comes to sending humans into the great beyond.

Near Russia's Baikonur cosmodromel, children examine an image of space pioneer Yuri Gargarin
Near Russia's Baikonur cosmodromel, children examine an image of space pioneer Yuri Gargarin
Benjamin Quenelle

BAIKONUR -- At the old Baikonur cosmodrome, the site of so many glorious moments for the Soviet space program, a Russian engineer proudly points to the Soyuz rocket just about to leave the ground. This will be a world record 1,774th launch for the brand of Russian-made rockets. It is the 23rd time the legendary engine wears the Arianespace logo.

Onboard the vessel are a number of communication satellites owned by the U.S. company Globalstar. "The United States needs us now, just like Europe does," the engineer insists. It is, of course, a reference to the recent "retirement" of America's space shuttle program. The final space shuttle voyage is set to conclude this week, meaning that for now, Russia's Soyuz rocket is the only machine available to transport humans to the International Space Station (ISS).

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Ideas

García Márquez And Truth: How Journalism Fed The Novelist's Fantasy

In his early journalistic writings, the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez showed he had an eye for factual details, in which he found the absurdity and 'magic' that would in time be the stuff and style of his fiction.

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez reads his book

J. D. Torres Duarte

BOGOTÁ — In short stories written in the 1940s and early 50s and later compiled in Eyes of a Blue Dog, the late Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia's Nobel Prize-winning novelist, shows he is as yet a young writer, with a style and subjects that can be atypical.

Stylistically, García Márquez came into his own in the celebrated One Hundred Years of Solitude. Until then both his style and substance took an erratic course: touching the brevity of film scripts in Nobody Writes to the Colonel, technical experimentation in Leaf Storm, the anecdotal short novel in In Evil Hour or exploring politics in Big Mama's Funeral. Throughout, the skills he displayed were rather of a precocious juggler.

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