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Public and Media Took the Shuttle for Granted

February 05, 2003

The appropriately voluminous amount of coverage on the space shuttle disaster in the Feb. 2 Times was informative, respectfully done and deserves accolades.

On the other hand, some say the public and media have long since taken the space shuttle program for granted. If one needs proof of that, look no further than Page A14 of The Times' Feb. 1 issue and the very small, two-paragraph coverage of the tentative return of seven astronauts after a 16-day mission and 80 completed experiments ("Astronauts Prepare for Return to Earth").

William E. Luna Sr.

Fullerton

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Regarding the commission appointed to investigate the Columbia breakup, it appears top-heavy with military types. A good place to start the Columbia investigation is to read Richard Feynman's critique of the Challenger inquiry. He served on the commission and was the Caltech physicist who demonstrated the O-ring material with a clamp and a glass of ice water. His was a minority report, but it is most important if NASA is to solve its problem with manned space flight.

Ralph D. Dearden

Santa Maria

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