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CAIB chair to review Hubble decision
Posted: Thu, Jan 29, 2004, 6:44 PM ET (2344 GMT)
Hubble Space Telescope (NASA) NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe said Thursday that he has asked the chairman of the former Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) to review the agency's decision to cancel the final shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Retired Admiral Harold Gehman, who led the CAIB during its seven-month investigation last year, will review the January 16 decision by NASA to cancel the SM4 shuttle servicing mission to Hubble. O'Keefe did not indicate how long Gehman would review the decision, but said that he expected a "pretty expeditious answer" from him. During the review NASA will proceed with plans to wind down preparations for the servicing mission. The decision to cancel SM4 was sharply criticized by both the astronomy community and members of Congress. Earlier this week the entire Maryland congressional delegation signed a letter to O'Keefe asking him to reconsider his decision. Both the Space Telescope Science Institute and NASA Goddard, which operates the orbiting telescope, are based in Maryland, and Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) has been one of the most vocal critics of the cancellation decision.
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