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Published 1991 | public
Book Section - Chapter

The space shuttle program


On April 12, 1981, the maiden flight of the space shuttle Columbia began, three years past the original launch date, 30 percent over the original estimated R&D costs, and 120 percent over the original estimated average cost per flight for the first three years of operation. On January 28, 1986, a seal failed on the right solid rocket booster of the shuttle Challenger, leading to an explosion seventy-three seconds into the launch and the loss of the seven crew members on board.

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© 1991 Brookings Institution.

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August 19, 2023
October 18, 2023