Press Release

NASA Administrator Accepts Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel Resignations

By SpaceRef Editor
September 23, 2003
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NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe accepted letters of
resignation from all 11 members and consultants of the
Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP). Congress first
chartered the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel in the
aftermath of the Apollo 1 fire in 1967 to act as an
independent body to advise the NASA Administrator on the
safety of operations, facilities, and personnel.

ASAP chair Shirley McCarty said in a cover letter to the
Administrator, “This will give you and the Congress the
freedom to revitalize the Panel and reshape its charter and

“Reflecting on the findings of the Columbia Accident
Investigation Board and the process failures identified in
its report, it’s evident that a wide range of oversight
functions should be strengthened within the agency,” said
Administrator O’Keefe. “We need to take this opportunity to
explore how the original concept for an Aerospace Safety
Advisory Panel needs to evolve to best meet the future needs
of the agency.”

NASA has already started the initial evaluation process to
revise the panel’s charge, based on congressional reaction
to the findings of the Columbia Accident Investigation
Board. The agency also will review the original 1967 ASAP
charter and its amendments.

“I want to send my personal gratitude to the panel members
for their work and dedication to NASA,” added Administrator
O’Keefe. “We have a lot of hard work ahead of us as we
prepare to safely return to flight. A comprehensive review
of the panel and its role in our safety objectives will be
vital in the coming weeks as we move forward.”

For more information on the Internet about the ASAP, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.