Press Release

Feeney’s Statement on Independent Committee Report on Astronaut Health Care and Safety

By SpaceRef Editor
August 1, 2007
Filed under ,

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Oviedo) today released the following statement following the independent committee report on astronaut health care and safety.

“After the Astronaut Lisa Nowak incident early this year, NASA Administrator Mike Griffin convened a distinguished panel of aerospace medicine experts to examine the astronaut health care system. This committee has produced a thoughtful and troubling report.

“Apparently, flight surgeons and astronauts are hesitant to report ‘major crew medical or behavioral problems’ because their concerns would be disregarded or ignored. This same culture – called a normalization of deviance – contributed to the Challenger and Columbia accidents. It cannot be allowed to flourish in the most demanding of human endeavors – human spaceflight.

“During his tenure, Administrator Griffin has repeatedly demonstrated the commitment to tackle and correct difficult and systemic problems at NASA. I am confident that he and his team will rise to this challenge. Congress will also conduct appropriate oversight.

“After the Shuttle is retired in 2010, NASA’s Constellation program will return Americans to the moon for extended stays. An astronaut’s physical and psychological well-being will be more and not less important. So it is imperative to thoroughly investigate these matters and establish an astronaut health care system that properly addresses future and not just current medical concerns,” said Feeney.

SpaceRef staff editor.