No one would question that the past year has been trying for
Boeing. The aerospace giant essentially turned in a loss for 2003
before one-time gains and adjustments. Scandals prompted the
departure of top executives and put a lucrative deal with the Air
Force in limbo, where it remains today.
An explosion that destroyed a Brazilian rocket in 2003, ending
the country's third attempt at space flight, was caused by an
unidentified electrical discharge that ignited an engine by
mistake, a report said on Tuesday. The commission investigating the
accident that killed 21 people found no specific reason for the
electrical fault. But it said years of underfunding of Brazil's
space programs had compromised the safety of the project.