In the case of a high-visibility, mission-related Shuttle mishap, the NASA Administrator
may activate an International Space Station and Space Shuttle Mishap Interagency
Investigation Board (the Board). Board activation is anticipated for events involving
serious injury or loss of life, significant public interest, and other serious
mishaps. The Board should consist of at least seven members, and be supported
by the Office of Space Flight Headquarters and technical consultants as the Board
The recommendation for the NASA Administrator to activate this Board will normally
be made at either the Associate Administrator for the Office of Space Flight-directed
Mishap Response Teleconference or as a decision at the Administratorís HCAT meeting
and/or teleconference. For this case, the NASA Administrator has determined effective
at 10:30am February 1, 2003, to convene such a Board and to name it the Columbia
Accident Investigation Board.
Chairman of the Board
Admiral Hal Gehman, USN
Rear Admiral Stephen Turcotte, Commander, Naval Safety Center
Maj. General John Barry, Director, Plans and Programs, Headquarters Air Force
Maj. General Kenneth W. Hess, Commander, Air Force Safety Center
Dr. James N. Hallock, Chief, Aviation Safety Division, Department of Transportation,
Mr. Steven B. Wallace, Director of Accident Investigation, Federal Aviation Administration
Brig. General Duane Deal, Commander, 21st Space Wing, USAF
Mr. Scott Hubbard, Director, NASA Ames Research Center
Mr. Roger E. Tetrault, Retired Chairman, McDermott International, Inc.
Dr. Sheila Widnall, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering
Dr. Douglas D. Osheroff, Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, Stanford University
Dr. Sally Ride, Professor of Space Science, University of California at San Diego
Dr. John Logsdon, Director of the Space Policy Institute, George Washington University
4. Board Support
Standing Support Personnel Reporting to the Board
Ex-Officio Member: Lt. Col. Michael J. Bloomfield,
NASA Chief Astronaut Instructor
Executive Secretary: Mr. Theron Bradley, Jr., NASA Chief Engineer
Additional Support Personnel. The Board may designate consultants, experts, or
other government or non-government individuals to support the Board as necessary.
In addition, the Board may substitute non-NASA personnel as Executive Secretary
at the discretion of the Chairman.
Task Force Team Support. Within 72 hours of activation of the Interagency Board,
the AA/OSF, the AA/SMA, the NASA Field Center Director or NASA Program Associate
Administrator (Non-OSF or Non Mission Related), and the NASA Chief Engineer will
meet to select and recommend Task Force Team members to the Columbia Accident
Investigation Board Chairman. Upon approval by the Board and appointment by the
NASA Administrator, the Task Force Team members will convene and meet with the
appropriate Working Group Team leads. The Task Force Team may to the extent that
the Board deems appropriate:
the formal interface between the Board and the activated Working Groups;
- Monitor, collect, document, and file the reports of
the Working Groups
activated to support the mishap investigation;
- Provide the Board members with requested information
and reports from the
Working Groups; and
- Assist the Board in the preparation of interim and
5. Columbia Accident Investigation Board Responsibilities
The Independent Board will:
- Conduct activities in accordance with the policies
and procedures adopted by the Board.
- Schedule Board activities, interim Board reports, and
submission of the final Board report as the Board deems appropriate.
- Determine the facts, as well as the actual or probable
causes of the Shuttle mishap in terms of dominant and contributing root causes
and significant observations and, recommend preventive and other appropriate
actions to preclude recurrence of a similar mishap. The investigation will
not be conducted or used to determine questions of culpability, legal liability,
or disciplinary action.
- Use the established NASA support structure of working
groups, NASA Field Center support, and supporting facilities to conduct the
investigations, as the Board deems appropriate. The Board may use non NASA
support as it deems appropriate.
- Activate the working groups appropriate to the mishap.
- Obtain and analyze whatever facts, evidence, and opinions
it considers relevant by relying upon reports of studies, findings, recommendations,
and other actions by NASA officials and contractors or by conducting inquiries,
hearings, tests, and other actions it deems appropriate. In so doing, it may
take testimony and receive statements from witnesses. All elements of NASA
will cooperate fully with the Board and provide any records, data, and other
administrative or technical support and services that may be requested.
- Impound property, equipment, and records to the extent
that it considers necessary.
- Release mishap information and mishap investigation
reports, as the Board deems appropriate.
- Develop recommendations for preventative and other
appropriate actions. A finding may warrant one or more recommendations or
may stand alone.
- Provide a final written report at such time and in
such manner as the Board deems appropriate which upon its completion will
be immediately released to the public.
February 1, 2003
Revised: February 18, 2003
Letter from NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe
February 18, 2003