Space: The Titan Will Fly Again

The Titan Will Fly Again

Grounded by a demoralizing series of failures, the U.S. space program finally got a bit of good news last week. The Air Force announced that a mechanical glitch, rather than a major design flaw, caused its Titan 34D rocket to explode just 700 ft. above its launching pad at California's Vandenberg Air Base last April 18. Loose insulation, the result of shoddy quality control, was blamed for permitting a fatal burn-through. The Air Force predicted that the Titan, capable of lifting up to 35,000-lb. payloads, would be ready to fly again by early next year.

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