Yesterday at NASA Headquarters, ESAís Director of Manned Spaceflight and Microgravity Jˆrg Feustel-Buechl and NASAís Associated Administrator-Office of Space Flight Frederick D. Gregory signed a charter establishing a closer relationship between the NASA and ESA payload safety panels.

The NASA Payload Safety Review Panel, originally chartered in 1977, has continuously supported the Shuttle and International Space Program Offices by interfacing with scientific and commercial users on safety issues and by certifying their equipment for flight.

ESA has operated with NASA for 20 years on Shuttle safety matters for European payloads. In 1995, ESA began performing safety reviews of European ISS payloads, on a project-to-project basis, as preliminary to NASA safety reviews.