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NASA has received a fair amount of criticism in recent years for its stubborn over-reliance on the space shuttle and the resultant basis of almost our entire space program on technology that dates to the early and middle 1970s. The Space Administration has done little more than put new launch vehicles on the drawing board; except for a handful of prototype test firings, the shuttle is all NASA has. And now they’ve been forced to ground the entire shuttle fleet, pending analysis and repair of microscopic cracks that have turned up the shuttles’ propellant lines. Not good news for a space program that has been lacking in focus pretty much since the conclusion of the Apollo mission.

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