Spaceflight Now

New members added to Columbia investigation board
Posted: March 5, 2003

Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) Chairman Admiral Hal Gehman today asked NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe to appoint three new members to the CAIB. The appointments were immediately approved.

The new members are: Nobel Prize laureate in Physics Douglas Osheroff; former NASA astronaut and physicist Dr. Sally Ride; and George Washington University Space Policy Institute Director Dr. John Logsdon.

Dr. Douglas D. Osheroff was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics. He shares the prize with two colleagues from Cornell University for their discovery of superfluidity in helium-3. Osheroff received his BS from California Tech and Ph.D. from Cornell. He is the G. Jackson and C.J. Wood Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University. He was a member of the technical staff at the Department of Solid State and Low Temperature Research at Bell Laboratories in the 1970s.

As a graduate student at Cornell before that, Osheroff and his thesis advisors, David M. Lee and Robert C. Richardson, discovered the first of three superfluid phases of liquid helium-3, at a temperature only about two-thousandths of a degree above absolute zero. Osheroff is a leader in the study of superfluidity and of the properties of thin superconducting films. He served as Chairman of the Cornell Physics Department from 1993 until August 1996. The Nobel Prize caps a long list of awards Osheroff has received. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he has won the Simon Memorial Prize, the Oliver Buckley Prize, and was named a MacArthur Fellow. Osheroff also won a Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Dr. Sally Ride is a former NASA Astronaut and the first American woman in space. She is a Professor of Space Science at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD).

Ride received her BS in Physics, BA in English, MS and Ph.D. in Physics from Stanford University. Her first spaceflight was aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983. Her second was also aboard the Challenger in 1984. During those flights she deployed communications satellites, operated the robot arm and conducted experiments in materials, pharmaceuticals, and Earth remote sensing. Training for her third spaceflight was interrupted by the Space Shuttle Challenger mishap. Ride served as a member of the Presidential Commission investigating the accident and chaired its subcommittee on Operations. She then served as NASA's first director of Strategic Planning. Ride spent two years at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation. In 1989 she became the Director of the University of California's California Space Institute, and joined the UCSD faculty. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, member of the National Research Council's Space Studies Board and has served on the Boards of the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. Ride has written four science books for children: To Space and Back; Voyager; The Third Planet, and The Mystery of Mars.

Dr. John Logsdon is Director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, where he is also Professor of Political Science and International Affairs.

He received his BS in Physics from Xavier University and Ph.D. in Political Science from New York University. Dr. Logsdon's research interests focus on the policy and historical aspects of U.S. and international space activities. He has written numerous articles and reports about space policy and history. He recently completed the basic article on "space exploration" for the new edition of Encyclopedia Britannica. Logsdon is a member of the NASA Advisory Council and the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee of the Department of Transportation. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics and Vice Chair of its Commission on Space Policy, Law and Economics. Logsdon recently served on the Committee on Human Space Exploration of Space Studies Board, National Research Council. He served on the Vice President's Space Policy Advisory Board and NASA's Space and Earth Sciences Advisory Committee. He has been a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He was the first holder of the Chair in Space History of the National Air and Space Museum.

Admiral Gehman also requested NASA astronaut Michael J. Bloomfield (Lt. Col., U.S. Air Force) be appointed as an Astronaut Advisor to the board. Administrator O'Keefe agreed and Bloomfield will begin his new assignment at the direction of Admiral Gehman.

Bloomfield was selected for the astronaut corps in 1994 and is currently qualified as a pilot. He is a veteran of three Space Shuttle flights. Bloomfield is a former chief of safety in NASA's Astronaut Office, and he currently serves as chief astronaut instructor. Bloomfield will assume the responsibilities currently performed by former astronaut Bryan O'Connor, who will return to NASA Headquarters in his role as NASA Associate Administrator for Safety and Mission Assurance in Washington.

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