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NASA's big push for the space station

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While concerned about the risks, most space experts who talked privately agreed that further waiting would be unlikely to reduce risks; it was time to do a shakedown under real night conditions. Because of the orbital stability of the space station and the presence of the fully functioning Russian modules, the actual threat of vehicle or crew loss due to hardware and software problems is lower than for any previous U.S. manned space mission. Frequent problems, including major failures, are expected during the next few months of assembling the station, but experts believe it is an ordeal that must be overcome

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Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 11 )