The loss of two shuttle orbiters and 14 brave astronauts gave NASA and the nation several textbooks worth of painful lessons about launching humans into space, including how easy it is to forget those lessons. The Challenger accident scuttled forever the notion that the space shuttle was an operational vehicle that could take humans to orbit as a matter of “routine.” Columbia’s loss underscored that schooling, and killed the shuttle program. “The echoes of Challenger in Columbia have ...


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