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The Nation

October 09, 1987

The third in a series of tests on a joint for the redesigned space shuttle booster rocket was declared a success by Morton Thiokol officials. The two-minute test firing in a simulator at the firm's facility in Brigham City, Utah, was to determine if a deliberate flaw in the joint connecting the rocket's nozzle to its body would permit hot gases to burn through a new O-ring seal. There was no evidence of any such leak, said Allan J. McDonald, director of the company's shuttle motor redesign team. A flawed joint between two other segments of the booster on the shuttle Challenger had leaked super-heated gases on Jan. 28, 1986, triggering the explosion that killed the seven members of the crew.

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