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FROM THIS EPISODE

On February 1, the Columbia Space Shuttle disintegrated as it was re-entering Earth-s atmosphere. A broken piece of foam insulation is being called the -smoking gun,- but it-s not the last word in the disaster. When the Challenger blew up during its 1986 take-off, investigators pointed to faulty seals on the shuttle's O-rings. In each case, the cause has been attributed to mechanical problems that had previously been discounted by safety engineers. Despite the exacting requirements of space travel, with astronauts- lives at stake, has NASA become complacent? Are Congress and a succession of presidents also to blame? We talk about what went wrong and whether it can be fixed with journalists and authors who have followed the shuttle programs, a former NASA scientist and a member of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.
  • Making News: Blair-Bush Split over Uranium Evidence in Africa
    The White House has admitted the State of the Union claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium in Africa was based on false information, even though President Bush has made no apologies about going to war. On the other hand, British Prime Minister Tony Blair is standing by the allegation that Saddam Hussein tried to acquire uranium from the nation of Niger. Andrew Buncombe of London-s Independent newspaper has more on the split.
  • Reporters Notebook: Reverend Al Sharpton, Presidential Candidate
    Ordained minister, street protester and civil rights leader Al Sharpton is now a declared candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. As another in our series of interviews with Presidential hopefuls, Rev. Sharpton touches on several campaign issues and explains how he-s trying to move the Democratic Party back to the left.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on Iraq evidence

President Bush's State of the Union address

Buncombe's article

New York Times article on split

Challenger disaster

Columbia disaster

International Space Station

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