NASA to keep shuttle probe testimony secret


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Sergeant Bob
May 13, 2003, 07:51 AM
Lawmakers Question Shuttle Probe Secrecy

By PAUL RECER
The Associated Press
Monday, May 12, 2003; 7:58 PM

WASHINGTON - Civilian members of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board have been put on NASA's payroll so the panel can use government secrecy regulations to withhold testimony about the space shuttle disaster.

Members of the House Space subcommittee, which oversees NASA, said making federal workers of the CAIB's five civilian members undermines the independence and credibility of the board.

"It baffles me why they are doing this," said Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn. "This is inconsistent with the history of these types of investigations."

The action permits the board to guarantee confidentiality for witnesses, such as NASA engineers, who testify before the board in closed sessions.

Board chairman Harold Gehman - a retired Navy admiral who insisted on putting the civilians on the payroll - said it was the only way engineers would testify.

Transcripts of the testimony, he told the Orlando Sentinel "are never going to see the light of day."


Full Story (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A46959-2003May12.html)

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Double Naught Spy
May 13, 2003, 12:40 PM
And this is gun-related how?

Ian
May 13, 2003, 01:50 PM
In L&P, it needn't be gun related.

What they're probably trying to keep quiet is that ground control saw the foam come off on launch, knew that it could have seriously damaged the wing, and failed to tell the crew anything. They may have even maneuvered a recon satellite into position to get a close look at the damaged area of the wing (they did this with the very first Columbia launch to look for any possible damage) and confirmed the damage without telling the crew. There's nothing they could have done to bring the crew down safely if there was a problem, so why worry anyone by suggesting the possibility?

One shuttle blew up on account of bureaucratic laziness, and one's blown up on account of poor planning. I wonder what'll kill the next one?

Blech. Stupid NASA! Get out of our way!

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