Congressman Ralph Hall (D-TX), Ranking Democratic Member of the House Science Committee, today released the following statement:

“The mass resignation of the members of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) sends a strong signal that, despite the useful and important service that they have provided over the years, their advice has rarely been heeded.  Simply changing its membership will not improve ASAP unless NASA and the Congress are willing to dedicate the resources and effort necessary to implement the Panel’s safety recommendations.

“Earlier this year, ASAP members strongly urged NASA to install a crew escape system on the Shuttle.  Unfortunately, NASA has not embraced this advice, instead focusing on a new crew transfer vehicle that may not be available for many years.  NASA should not ignore ASAP yet again.  It should commit itself to carrying forward the Panel’s very important recommendations on Shuttle crew escape and safety.”