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Science Channel (tv network)

Science Channel series tells of close calls in space

Lunch with former astronauts Robert Curbeam, Jerry Linenger and Yi So-yeon feels a little like eavesdropping on the meeting of a special club.

Bring up the reason they're together — to discuss the near misses that have them featured on the Science Channel's upcoming series "Secret Space Escapes" — and the club would seem even more exclusive. But not as much as you'd think, since the danger of space travel probably isn't fully appreciated by the general public.

For many reasons, incidents are often minimized at the time. Space agencies don't want the bad publicity, no one wants to scare families back home and astronauts are trained to fix problems and...