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Shuttle return-to-flight panel meets
Posted: Sat, Aug 9, 2003, 5:44 PM ET (2144 GMT)
STS-107: launch (NASA/KSC) A NASA-commissioned independent group met for the first time this week to review plans for returning the space shuttle to flight. The Stafford-Covey Return to Flight Task Group, led by former astronauts Tom Stafford and Richard Covey, met at the Kennedy Space Center on Thursday to review how the group will oversee NASA's implementation of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board's final recommendations. Covey told reporters that he saw similarities in the decision-making process between the Columbia and Challenger accidents. In response, the panel will evaluate how NASA responds to the operational, technical, and management issues raised by the CAIB report. The panel will issue a final report one month before the shuttle returns to flight — scheduled for March 2004 — but does not have the authority to stop a launch nor will its activities continue after shuttle flights resume.
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