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News In Brief

British say US shuttle took photo of secret Soviet craft

The space shuttle Columbia photographed a top-secret Soviet rocket powerful enough to carry man to Mars, British television said Monday night. Independent Television News said the 290-foot-tall rocket, able to lift 180 tons into space, was seen on a launch pad at Tyuratam, Kazakhstan.

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''When the picture was enhanced by a computer,'' ITN said, ''they found they had the first shot of the most powerful rocket that's ever been built.'' ITN quoted an unnamed senior Pentagon official as saying: ''It's a live bird, and ready to be launched.'' NASA said in Washington it had nothing to say about the British report.