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Letter: Shuttle disaster is what happens when politics overrules science
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In 1986, a plan was made to launch a rocket to the space station with a young female school teacher among the crew. The crew was on board, ready to go, when a scientist objected to the launch because of freezing weather. But the politicians said, “Go for it.”

A giant, soft, flexible O ring around the base of the rocket was used to absorbing vibration during liftoff. But since it was frozen, it was rigged, inflexible and incapable of doing the job it was designed for.

So there was a countdown and a”throttle up,” and everything was blown to smithereens. That tragedy occurred 30 years ago Sunday. The press called it an unfortunate accident.

A speech had been written for President Ronald Reagan aimed primarily at Russia.

We could be very careful when politicians are allowed to call all the shots regardless of consequences.

Clarence Lee Newton
Gainesville

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