Space: The $6 Million Stumble

The $6 Million Stumble

It was one small misstep for a technician and an expensive setback for the next mission of the space shuttle Discovery. Last week a hapless worker, whose name has been withheld to protect him from humiliation, tripped on the tail of his lab coat and piled into the exhaust nozzle of a space rocket that is to ferry an important communications satellite into orbit next February. The accident caused a crack in the heat-resistant carbon nozzle that was too serious to be fixed with a simple patch, and NASA will have to replace the entire first stage of the expensive rocket....

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