Space: Blind Spot

The 14-volume report on last January's Apollo disaster and full-dress hearings in both houses of Congress last week underscored a tragic irony.

Astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee died by fire on Cape Kennedy's Pad 34 because some of the best engineering talent in the U.S., hypersensitive to the perils of space, failed to recognize the grave dangers of a simulated flight only a couple of hun dred feet above the ground.

"It was our blind spot," confessed a top National Aeronautics and Space Administration engineer. North American Aviation's highest...

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