CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — To prevent another catastrophe, NASA will replace braking mechanisms on all its space shuttles after discovering some of the gears were installed backward.

Shuttle program manager Bill Parsons said Monday he has launched an investigation into why the rudder speed brake gears — all old original parts in the shuttle tails — were never inspected in more than two decades of flight. If one of the improperly installed gears had been in a high-stress position, it probably would have led to the destruction of the spacecraft at touchdown, he said.

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"Bottom line is, it was not good," Parsons said.

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