Latest Columbia Accident Investigation Board Stories
The chief investigator of the Columbia disaster said Wednesday he's fine with NASA resuming shuttle launches in just two weeks, even though the space agency falls short of making three safety improvements he called for in 2003.
NASA officials believe the risk of potentially lethal pieces of ice flying off the external fuel tank and striking the space shuttle is low enough to proceed with plans for a mid-July launch of Discovery.
NASA's new administrator, Michael Griffin, promised Monday to leave "absolutely no stone unturned" in deciding whether it's safe to launch Discovery next month - the first space shuttle flight since the Columbia disaster. Discovery is scheduled to blast off as early as May 15.
As she prepares to return a crew of astronauts to space, shuttle commander Eileen Collins said Thursday her crew won't fly if NASA doesn't meet a task force's safety recommendations.
NASA said Tuesday it will institute strict crowd control for space shuttle launches and landings, and rely more on a seldom-used touchdown site in New Mexico, to better protect the public once flights resume in a few months.
There are no major hurdles to NASA launching a space shuttle in May or June, a task force overseeing return-to-flight efforts said Friday, while also expressing concern about crew members' ability to make repairs in orbit.
NASA needs to supply astronauts with a "reasonable, doable and practicable" way to plug space shuttle holes in orbit before resuming launches, an advisory group said Thursday.
Experts are launching rectangular pieces of foam, traveling up to 1,500 mph, at the space shuttle's solid rocket booster to help National Aeronautics and Space Administration officials ensure the vehicle is ready to return to flight.
- A volcanic mudflow.