George Alexander, L.A. Times reporter who chronicled space exploration, dies

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Days after an accidental fire inside a NASA spacecraft killed three American astronauts, George Alexander peered into the charred capsule.

One of only three journalists allowed into the Apollo 1 spacecraft following the 1967 incident, Alexander observed how everything within had been incinerated, except for a small fragment of a parachute harness, he recalled to National Public Radio.

Two years later, Alexander went on to write a different chapter of NASA’s lunar program’s story, but this one had a happier ending: Apollo 11’s historic moon landing in 1969.

In a career that spanned five decades, including 13 years at the Los Angeles Times, Alexander was one of the foremost chroniclers of the country’s space exploration programs, capturing both their failures and triumphs.

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