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Congress criticizes NASA on shuttle safety
Posted: Mon, Apr 22, 2002, 7:54 AM ET (1154 GMT)
NASA Members of Congress expressed their concern about the long-term safety of the space shuttle fleet during a hearing Thursday. NASA officials told members of the House Science Committee's space subcommittee that safety is their top priority, but Richard Blomberg, head of NASA's independent Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, expressed strong concern about the future safety of the shuttle program. "I have never been as concerned for space shuttle safety as I am right now," Blomberg told Congressmen during the hearing. While there are no immediate safety concerns, Blomberg and Congress were concerned about the need to fund long-term safety upgrades to the shuttle fleet, which will fly through at least 2012 and perhaps until 2020, depending on when a second-generation shuttle fleet can enter service. Like members of a House Appropriations Committee subcommittee earlier in the week, some members expressed concern about NASA's vision, or lack thereof, during the hearing.
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