The Nation

Engineers looking at remedies for the flawed shuttle booster rocket are studying sealing systems that do not use O-rings, the engineer leading the redesign effort told a House committee. Allan J. McDonald, among the Morton Thiokol Inc. employees who protested launching the doomed Challenger in record cold Jan. 28, said metal sealing systems are among those being studied, as well as variations of O-rings made of different materials or with metal cores or springs. He said the design effort is focusing on providing redundant sealing capability and reducing flex in joints.

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