Shuttle Test Goes Smoothly

United Press International

A make-believe fire and a simulated explosion set off an emergency launch pad evacuation drill today, complete with astronauts faking injuries, in a major test of post-Challenger shuttle safety improvements.

The evacuation exercise marked one of the last such tests before the shuttle Discovery blasts off from launch pad 39-B late this summer. The launch pad was vacant today--Discovery will be hauled to the seaside firing stand next month--and officials said the drill went smoothly with 14 people faking injuries, nine of whom were transported by helicopter to area hospitals participating in the drill.