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NASA ANNOUNCES INVESTIGATION BOARD (THE GEHMAN BOARD)



Glenn Mahone/Bob Jacobs
Headquarters, Washington           February 2, 2003
(Phone: 202/358-1898/1600)
 
RELEASE: 03-034
 
NASA ANNOUNCES SPACE SHUTTLE COLUMBIA
ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION BOARD (THE GEHMAN BOARD)
 
     NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe today announced the members of the
Space Shuttle Mishap Interagency Investigation Board, which will provide
an independent review of the events and activities that led up to the
tragic loss of the seven astronauts Saturday on board the Space Shuttle
Columbia.
 
The board's first meeting is scheduled for tomorrow at 
Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
 
Retired U.S. Navy Admiral Harold W. Gehman, Jr., who co-chaired the
independent commission that investigated the attack on the U.S.S. Cole in
Aden, Yemen, Oct. 12, 2000, and once served as the commander-in-chief of
U.S. Joint Forces Command, will chair the panel. 
 
"While the NASA family and the entire world mourn the loss of 
our colleagues, we have a responsibility to quickly move 
forward with an external assessment to determine exactly what 
happened and why," said Administrator O'Keefe. "We're honored 
to have such a distinguished panel of experts, led by Admiral 
Gehman."
 
Other members of the investigative board includes:
 
*  Rear Admiral Stephen Turcotte, Commander, U.S. Naval 
Safety Center, Norfolk, Va.
*  Major General John L. Barry, Director, Plans and Programs, 
Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air 
Force Base, Ohio
*  Major General Kenneth W. Hess, Commander, U.S. Air Force 
Chief of Safety, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
*  Dr. James N. Hallock, Aviation Safety Division Chief, U.S. 
Department of Transportation, Cambridge, Mass.
*  Steven B. Wallace, Director of Accident Investigation, 
Federal Aviation Administration, Washington
*  Brigadier General Duane Deal, Commander 21st Space Wing, 
Peterson Air Foce Base, Colo.
 
Several senior NASA leaders also will be a part of the panel, 
including G. Scott Hubbard, Director, NASA Ames Research 
Center, Moffett Field, Calif. Bryan D. O'Connor, NASA 
Associate Administrator and former astronaut, Office of 
Safety and Mission Assurance, Headquarters, will serve as Ex-
Officio Member, and Theron Bradley, Jr., NASA Chief Engineer, 
NASA Headquarters, Washington, will be Executive Secretary.
 
"We need to be responsible, accountable, and extremely 
thorough in this investigation," added Administrator O'Keefe. 
"This panel is charged with a most difficult task, but I am 
confident in their ability, their integrity, and their 
dedication to doing what's right. Their findings will help 
push America's space program successfully into the future."
 
"Currently, NASA is beginning an internal investigation, 
drawing on the extensive expertise throughout the agency. 
Public officials for NASA, the Federal Emergency Management 
Agency, and other federal, state, and local entities are 
coordinating talents to help find the cause of this tragedy," 
concluded Administrator O'Keefe
 
Additional information about the investigation and the STS-
107 mission is available on the Internet at:
 
http://www.nasa.gov
 
http://spaceflight.nasa.gov
 

 

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