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California shuttle-launch site OK despite flaws, USAF says

There have been construction defects at the new $2.5 billion space shuttle launch complex in California, but quality-control efforts have preserved the project's safety, the Air Force says. The reply came Wednesday, two days after NBC reported that inspectors had found dangerous flaws at the site at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

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Problems listed in the NBC report included faulty welding, out-of-phase wiring, cracks, and other defects. The Air Force contended that ''none of this is news to us,'' because the alleged problem had been discovered through normal quality-control procedures.

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