Memorandum for the Record to the CAIB by William Readdy 3 February 2003

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2003


Wednesday, January 29, 2003 in the early afternoon Mr. Michael Card, NASA Headquarters Safety and Mission Assurance visited me in my office. Mr. Card and an individual from another agency had been discussing the external tank (ET) debris issue during STS-107 ascent. He wanted to discuss an 'offer of support' from the other agency with respect to observing the Space Shuttle Columbia on orbit. He explained that NASA would have to request that support on an emergency or high priority basis.

I explained that the ET debris and possible implications to the left wing thermal protection system had been analyzed and reported to the Mission Management Team (MMT) and documented in MER Daily Report FD 12 dated 1/28/03 1245 GMT. My understanding was that the Space Shuttle Program was well aware of those capabilities that could be provided by the other agency and it had concluded that the offer would not contribute to the analysis. I related that to Mr. Card as well as the conclusion reached by the MMT that there was not "safety of flight" issue and for those reasons there was no rationale for requesting emergency or high priority support.

He reiterated that the other agency desired to support on a 'not-to-interfere' basis. I acknowledged this information. Told him again that this was not viewed as a "safety of flight" issue, but told him to accept the offer of support on a 'not-to-interfere' basis.


William Readdy
Associate Administrator
Office of Space Flight
NASA Headquarters

February 3, 2003

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