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The Nation

NASA rejected a suggestion by an independent safety panel that the agency cancel a $1.5-billion rocket development program and direct the money instead toward improvements in the space shuttle. The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel said in its annual report that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should abandon plans to build an advanced solid rocket motor because the money could be better used to make improvements in the orbiter stage of the space shuttle. But NASA Administrator James C. Fletcher said NASA wants to develop a second-source manufacturer for space shuttle solid rockets so the agency is never again left without a reliable rocket engine, as it was after the Challenger accident.


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