Latest Status on the Shuttle’s Return to Flight

Image credit: NASA

It looks like NASA is still a long way from getting the space shuttles ready to fly again, according to the interim report released today by the Return to Flight task group. Although NASA is addressing all 29 issues suggested by the recommendations of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, the progress is reported as “uneven”. So far, none of the tasks have been completed. NASA is currently targeting September 12 for the date of the first shuttle launch after the Columbia disaster, but many experts think that date could be pushed back even further.

The Stafford-Covey Return to Flight Task Group will issue an interim report Tuesday, Jan. 20. The group is making an independent assessment of NASA’s implementation of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board Space Shuttle return to flight recommendations.

Co-Chairman Richard Covey will be available to answer questions from the news media at 2:30 p.m. EST, Wednesday, Jan. 21 at the Task Group office at 1740 NASA Parkway, Suite 101, Houston. A telephone bridge will be provided for media unable to attend in person. Interested media should call Shannon Bach at: 281/792-7523 no later than 11 a.m. EST. Jan. 21.

The 28-member task group is co-chaired by Covey, a former Space Shuttle Commander and retired Air Force Lieutenant General and former Apollo Mission Commander Thomas Stafford. The Task Group will continue to report results to NASA at appropriate intervals and will provide a final report to the agency approximately one month before the Space Shuttle’s return to flight.

Original Source: RTF TG News Release