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Jay Barbree, space journalist and author of ‘Moon Shot’, dies at the age of 87

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Barbree joined NBC News in 1958 and covered all non-commercial manned spaceflight in the United States, from Freedom 7 to the final space shuttle mission. He worked in the network for almost six decades.

In 1986, Barbree covered the doomed launch of the Challenger space shuttle and reported that investigators were focusing on damaged seals at the base of a solid rocket as the probable cause of the disaster.

A year later, Barbree suffered a massive heart attack that left him without dust for a few minutes, according to Barbree in his 2007 memoirs: “Live from Cape Canaveral.” He spent several months recovering. Due to the prolonged suspension of the shuttle launches after the Challenger disaster, Barbree was able to return to work without missing a mission.

Barbree retired from NBC News in 2017. In addition to her television work, Barbree was the author of several books, including “Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America’s Race to the Moon,” written with astronaut Alan Shepard .

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