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DeLay: NASA One Step Closer to Shuttle Flight; Shuttle Program Will Be Safer, Smarter in Future

Press Release From: Rep. Tom DeLay
Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2003

SUGAR LAND, Texas, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) today voiced support for NASA and the space community in reaction to the release of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board's (CAIB) report.

"I commend the NASA family, those talented men and women who put their hearts and souls into their jobs," DeLay said. "The Columbia accident was a tragedy and today we relive some of the same emotions we felt in February."

"The Board's recommendations are comprehensive and complex, focusing on more than just the technical flaws that led to the Columbia tragedy. While Congress and NASA will closely analyze the findings and recommendations, I urge the space community and the rest of the nation to hold tight to NASA's defining purpose: the shuttle will fly again," DeLay continued.

"I have full confidence in NASA's leadership and team as they focus on a return to flight. They know -- as the rest of the nation does -- we owe it to the Columbia crew and to our own future to continue our mission of exploration and discovery in space. As the President said, 'This cause of exploration and discovery is not an option we choose; it is a desire written in the human heart,'" DeLay added.

NASA appointed the 13-member CAIB in the wake of Columbia's Feb. 1 accident. The Board is chaired by retired Admiral Harold (Hal) Gehman, Jr.

DeLay's suburban Houston Congressional district neighbors the Johnson Space Center (JSC). Most JSC employees reside in DeLay's district.

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