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Panel raises questions about long-term NASA safety
Posted: Fri, Mar 8, 2002, 7:22 AM ET (1222 GMT)
NASA A safety panel warned that, while the safety of NASA programs is good today, reforms are needed to prevent safety from becoming a major problem down the road. The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) said that, over the long term, "safety concerns have never been greater" because NASA is putting all its resources into near-term survival versus long-term planning. The ASAP report recommended that NASA move ahead with shuttle safety upgrades in a timely manner and continue to develop a crew return vehicle for the International Space Station. The report also said that safety should be a major factor in any consideration of space shuttle privatization. ASAP continued its ongoing concerns about the aging of NASA's workforce, and warned that plans to lower the shuttle flight rate to four missions a year could exacerbate problems by forcing NASA to lay off experienced personnel.
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