Shuttle May Fly After Extreme Inspections

NASA is indicating that a new regime of inspections will be required for its fleet of space shuttle to start flying again. In the case of Columbia, it’s believed that a hairline crack only a few centimeters long was created when a chunk of foam from its fuel tank smashed into its wing. NASA administrator Sean O’Keefe said that it’s going to take an “extremely meticulous” inspection system to catch this kind of problem for future flights. When launches do resume, they will be daytime flights only, so cameras can monitor the shuttle’s flight to orbit. The shuttle may return to flight in December or some time in 2004.