WASHINGTON, D.C.-Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) shares Boards’ concern for the future of U.S. human space flight:

“Once more our hopes for human space flight have been dashed with the tragic loss of the Columbia space shuttle crew.  In uncovering the causes behind the accident, we owe Admiral Gehman and his fellow board members our deepest appreciation for their unyielding devotion to professionalism and hard work.

“The Columbia accident investigation board (CAIB) has afforded us the opportunity to renew our focus on where the human space flight program should go from here.  I share and embrace the CAIB’s concerns about plans for immediate return of the Shuttle to flight and NASA’s safety management culture.  NASA’s failure to develop new space transportation capabilities after spending billions has resulted in flying the Shuttle longer than necessary.  I am convinced the Committee’s deliberations on the CAIB’s findings and conclusions in the coming weeks will be key in getting NASA’s human space flight program on the road to recovery.

“NASA also must seize the opportunity provided by the CAIB to commit itself to innovative and creative thinking in advancing our space program.  The Administration and Congress must stand ready to help NASA chart the future course of this essential enterprise.  The Committee has begun scheduling hearings intended to achieve this outcome. 

“The bravery and unselfishness of American’s space pioneers deserve nothing less.”