HOUSTON — The family of Challenger astronaut Ronald E. McNair, the second black American to travel in space, has settled a lawsuit for an unspecified amount against Morton Thiokol Inc., the manufacturer of the solid rocket booster blamed for last year's shuttle disaster.
The terms and amount of the settlement, completed Thursday in a meeting with U.S. District Judge Carl Bue, were not disclosed, and records of the case have been sealed.
But family attorney Ronald D. Krist called the settlement a "significant amount."
"I'm very satisfied with the settlement and relieved," McNair's wife, Cheryl, said. "It is my hope our efforts in outer space will continue and be conducted in a safe manner."
Krist said an agreement was reached about a month ago but needed the approval of Bue because children--a 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter--were involved.
"The McNairs have been through enough and the resolution of this has brought a lot of comfort to their lives," he said.
McNair was killed Jan. 28, 1986, with six Challenger crew mates when the shuttle exploded 73 seconds after liftoff.
Four other Challenger families have settled with NASA and received about $1 million each. Krist also represents the families of Gregory Jarvis and Judith Resnik.
Another Challenger widow, Jane Smith, filed a $1.5-billion lawsuit earlier this week against the U.S. government, Morton Thiokol and a NASA official in charge of development of the solid rocket booster.