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NASA reorganizes shuttle investigation team
Posted: Sat, Mar 22, 2003, 1:19 PM ET (1819 GMT)
STS-107 patch (NASA) NASA announced Friday afternoon that it had reorganized its internal team investigating the loss of the space shuttle Columbia, disbanding a controversial group that included senior shuttle managers. In a statement, NASA said it had shut down the Mishap Response Team (MRT) it created immediately after the accident, replacing it with a new NASA Accident Investigation Team (NAIT), led by Johnson Space Center deputy director Randy Stone. The NAIT will take over the role of supporting the independent Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB). CAIB chairman Harold Gehman had previously criticized the MRT because it included several senior shuttle managers who themselves could be the subject of the investigation at some point. In a letter late last month Gehman requested that NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe remove several of those managers; O'Keefe declined the request but said that he would implement a new panel to work with the CAIB that would address the board's concerns.
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