NASA officials watched in horror Monday as the $68 billion straw space shuttle, Explorer 2, burst into flames just after liftoff from Cape Canaveral.
The four American and three Russian astronauts onboard were killed instantly, despite their protective all-straw space suits. Technicians were stunned by the failure, which capped a flawless six-month pre-launch test period. They count faulty twine among the possible causes of the accident.
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