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The Nation

April 13, 1987

After extensive analysis, NASA engineers have rejected an outside study of the Challenger disaster that claimed the shuttle's faulty booster began breaking up well before the ship's destruction. The agency also rejected independent engineer Ali AbuTaha's suspicion that Challenger's pilots knew of booster problems before the explosion on Jan. 28, 1986, 73 seconds after blastoff. In a letter to AbuTaha last month, James Rose, assistant director of National Space Transportation Systems for NASA, said NASA found no new evidence in his analysis. AbuTaha, an aerospace consultant in Reston, Va., has conducted his own investigation of the accident at his own expense.

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