ABC Evening News for Thursday, Feb 20, 1986
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(Studio: Ted Koppel) Indications that NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) officials have been aware for some time of potential seal failures on space shuttle solid rocket boosters said discovered as investigation into explosion of shuttle Challenger conts.
(DC: Lynn Sherr) Suspect smoke at seal on Challenger during liftoff said occurring during previous launches; January 1985 cited as example by Morton Thiokol engineer Allan McDonald in statement to Senator Ernest Hollings. [Courtesy "Good Morning America", HOLLINGS - notes McDonald's objection to launching below certain temperature] NASA's official reaction and actual deterioration of seals in question during that mission reviewed. NASA launch official Lawrence Mulloy's reaction to Morton Thiokol's recommendation to delay liftoff due to temperature quoted on screen. [HOLLINGS - claims acting NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) administration Dr. William Graham has lost credibility with Senate committee ] Hollings mentioned calling for Graham's resignation; criticism of presidential commission's investigation of Challenger due to its focus on technical rather than political aspects of tragedy noted. Former astronaut Richard Truly reported taking over as launch director enabling current director Jesse Moore to accept Johnson Space Center post. [TRULY - claims he'll investigate Challenger tragedy himself.]
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