Follow this link to skip to                                      the main content


Text Size

Updated Return to Flight Implementation Plan
NASA has released the first revision to the Implementation Plan for Space Shuttle Return to Flight and Beyond, reflecting our progress to date in responding to the recommendations and observations of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB), as well as additional actions initiated by the Space Shuttle Program.

We consider the Implementation Plan to be a living document that will be periodically updated and will guide our efforts toward addressing the CAIB findings and our safe Return to Flight.

+ Revision 1 Summary (PDF; 411Kb)
+ Read the Full Report (PDF; 19Mb)

This revision supercedes the first iteration of our return to flight Implementation Plan released on September 8, 2003, and includes formatting that indicates where changes and updates have been made to show progress since the first Plan was released.

We have renamed the document to ensure that its focus on Shuttle return to flight activities is clear and to recognize the fact that NASA still has critical programs that are continuing to fly while the Shuttle is grounded, including the International Space Station.

We have accomplished much in the last several months, and there is much more work to be done. The ingenuity and dedication of the NASA workforce and the commitment of the nation to the NASA mission will continue to propel us toward our shared goal of safely returning the Shuttle to flight, and safely returning it home.

If you have ideas or suggestions for NASA's return to flight effort, contact us at

Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) Report

Note: Users of Netscape products have been reporting problems downloading these documents due to software conflicts beyond the control of the NASA Portal team. No such problems have been reported by users viewing the document with Microsoft Internet Explorer.