REPORT BLAMES NASA AND OPTICS FIRM FOR HUBBLE TELESCOPE FLAWS

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the company that built the Hubble Space Telescope share the blame for failing to detect a crucial mirror flaw, concludes a report released Tuesday by NASA. Workers at the Perkin-Elmer Corporation in Danbury, Conn., had at least three major chances to find the defect before the telescope was placed into orbit in April, but the employees wrongly dismissed the signs, the report says.

However, NASA also must accept responsibility because the agency was in charge of the project and oversaw the work, Mr. Allen said.

Sen. Al Gore (D) of Tennessee, who held hearings to investigate the telescope's defect, said the report ``makes crystal clear'' the need for NASA to ``continue its efforts to strengthen testing and quality-control efforts.''

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