19 Safe as NASA Plane Blows Tire at March Air Base

From Times Wire Services

A Convair 990 turboprop airplane assigned to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration blew a tire and caught fire on takeoff Wednesday, but the blaze was doused and there were no injuries to the 15 passengers and four crew members, officials said.

A NASA spokesman said the plane was to take off from the base near Riverside to view an artificial comet in the night sky over the Western United States to wrap up a yearlong, three-satellite study of Earth's space environment and how the solar wind affects real comets.

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