Spaceflight Now

Return to Flight Task Group statement
Posted: August 26, 2003

"We are grateful to the members of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board for their hard work and diligence in service to the nation and its space program over the past seven months. With the release of their final report, the Board has provided the answers to the questions of "what happened?" and "why?" Moreover, looking to the future, the board has provided important recommendations for developing a plan to get -- and keep -- the Space Shuttle flying again safely.

"The Return to Flight Task Group is committed to doing its part to help ensure the Shuttle returns safely to space by making a careful, thorough, and independent assessment of NASA's return to flight plans.

"Over the coming days and months we will carefully study the board's report and findings, review, digest and assess NASA's plans for implementing the board's recommendations, and provide the NASA Administrator -- and the public -- with our assessments as they pertain to the safety and operational readiness of the STS-114 Space Shuttle mission."

Richard O. Covey
Co-chairman, Return to Flight Task Group
Aug. 26, 2003