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Independent panel to oversee shuttle return to flight
Posted: Fri, May 23, 2003, 11:10 AM ET (1510 GMT)
STS-107: launch (NASA/KSC) An independent panel whose membership includes former astronauts will oversee NASA’s plans to return the shuttle to flight, administrator Sean O'Keefe said Thursday. Retired astronaut Richard Covey, a veteran of four missions including STS-26, the first post-Challenger flight, will lead a panel that will study how the agency complies with recommendations made by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. Covey’s panel will report to a larger group led by former astronaut Tom Stafford that is charged with an overall review of NASA's return to flight plans. A formal announcement about the group is planned in the near future, O'Keefe said during a breakfast speech in Washington. O'Keefe also said in the speech that Russia has agreed to move up a Progress cargo flight to the station from January of 2004 to this November to help maintain the flow of supplies to the station while the shuttle remains grounded.
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