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There’d Be 272 Crashes a Day If Jets Failed Like Shuttles

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If U.S. airlines had the same failure rate as the now-retired space shuttles, there’d be 272 fatal crashes a day.

As investigations begin into the crash of a Virgin Galactic LLC test vehicle yesterday and the explosion of an unmanned Orbital Sciences Corp. rocket seconds after liftoff this week, the history of space travel suggests such failures are neither rare nor unexpected.