Congress established the ASAP in 1968 after the Apollo 1 fire to provide advice and make recommendations to the NASA administrator on safety matters. The panel holds quarterly fact-finding and public meetings and makes one or more visits annually to NASA centers and related sites. This year's report advises NASA on issues that have significant potential to impact human spaceflight.
"The panel's first and foremost concern is the lack of clarity and constancy of purpose among NASA, Congress, and the administration," panel Chairman Joseph W. Dyer said. "We believe this increases the likelihood that essential knowledge and competencies in the contractor or government workforce, such as those involving safety considerations, lessons learned, and past experience will not be present to effectively reduce risk in the future."
Some of the panel's critical safety issues or concerns in the 18-page report include:
-- Human spaceflight acquisition strategy and safety approach
-- FAA/NASA relationship
-- Workforce and safety culture
-- International Space Station challenges
For more information about the ASAP and to view its 2010 report, visit http://oiir.hq.nasa.gov/asap.
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