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Former Kennedy Space Center director dies

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 2:49pm
The Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Forrest McCartney, a former director of Kennedy Space Center who was crucial in getting NASA's shuttles flying again after the Challenger tragedy, has died. He was 81

McCartney died Tuesday at a hospice near Cape Canaveral.

McCartney took charge of Kennedy Space Center in the months following the 1986 Challenger launch accident. He served until 1991, three years after the resumption of shuttle flights.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement that McCartney was one of the finest of Kennedy's 10 directors over the past half-century. McCartney was a nuclear engineer by training and served as commander of the Air Force Space Division in the early to mid-1980s.

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