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David Morse

September 20, 1999

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Phone: 650/604-4724 or 604-9000

E-mail: dmorse@mail.arc.nasa.gov


Dwayne C. Brown

Headquarters, Washington, DC

Phone: 202/358-1726


RELEASE: 99-55AR

NASA FORMS INDEPENDENT INDUSTRY-GOVERNMENT TEAM TO REVIEW SHUTTLE MAINTENANCE AND REFURBISHMENT PRACTICES

Following the recent discovery of maintenance-related damage to electrical wiring in the Space Shuttle, NASA is forming a team of leading aerospace experts to review the overall safety of shuttle maintenance and refurbishment practices.

The team will be chaired by Dr. Henry McDonald, director of NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. Other members will be named later this week.

"Dr. McDonald's team will include top maintenance experts from NASA, the military, the aerospace industry and the commercial aircraft industry," said Joe Rothenberg, associate administrator for space flight at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC. "Their experience and lessons-learned compiled over the years will be essential to our continuous improvement processes for shuttle safety."

The team will assess NASA's standard practices for maintaining and refurbishing the shuttle orbiters, main engines and solid rocket boosters. It also will recommend improvements. Preliminary findings will be presented to NASA in October.

"I'm proud to lead this team and I am looking forward to the task ahead," McDonald said. "I plan to bring the best expertise available from around the country to examine this issue and recommend the right improvements. Ensuring the safety of the shuttle both now and well into the next millennium will be our top priority."

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