NASA Report Reviews Crew Safety Measures During Columbia Accident, Recommends Improvements

NASA has completed a comprehensive study of crew safety equipment and procedures used during the space shuttle Columbia accident with recommendations for improving the safety of all future human spaceflights.

A media teleconference will be held at 3 p.m. CST Tuesday to discuss the report. To participate, reporters must contact NASA’s Johnson Space Center newsroom at 281-483-5111 no later than 2 p.m. Space may be limited.

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live at:

The teleconference participants are Wayne Hale, deputy associate administrator for strategic partnerships; astronaut Pam Melroy, deputy project manager for the investigation team; Nigel Packham, project manager for the investigation team; and Jeff Hanley, Constellation program manager.

The Spacecraft Crew Survival Integrated Investigation Team report is available at:

"The members of this team have done an outstanding job under difficult and personal circumstances," said Johnson Space Station Center Director Michael L. Coats. "Their work will ensure that the legacy of Columbia and her heroic crew continues to be the improved safety of future human spaceflights worldwide."

The team's final report includes 30 recommendations to improve spacecraft design and crew safety. The recommendations cover a broad range of subjects from crew training, procedures, restraints and individual safety equipment to spacecraft design methods and recommendations regarding future accident investigations.

NASA already has implemented some of the report's recommendations and is evaluating others. A fact sheet describing actions that have been taken or are in work by both the Space Shuttle Program and Constellation Program as a result of the investigation is available at the same web link as the report.

This was the first-ever in-depth crew survival study of a spaceflight accident. The investigation was conducted by a multi-disciplinary NASA team based at NASA's Johnson Space Center. The study team also consulted experts outside of NASA for portions of its work.

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