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The Nation

January 14, 1987

A panel of outside experts said that NASA needs to do a better job of ranking the potential safety hazards in its space shuttle fleet. The recommendation came from a panel of the National Research Council, the research arm of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has a "critical items list" that identifies pieces of hardware whose failure could lead to the destruction of the shuttle and loss of the crew. The agency requires, where possible, a backup for an item whose failure would doom the shuttle.

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