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Sen. Hutchison Expresses Support for NASA Administrator's Decision to Delay Return to Flight

Press Release From: Sen. Hutchison
Posted: Friday, April 29, 2005

Chairman says meeting safety standards more important than arbitrary deadlines

WASHINGTON Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space, today made the following statement in response to NASA Administrator Michael Griffin's announcement that the launch of Shuttle Discovery will be delayed until mid-July. The Administrator spoke directly with Sen. Hutchison on Thursday. Sen. Hutchison's statement follows:

"Administrator Griffin has set a new threshold of analysis and review to ensure a safe and successful return to flight. The swift confirmation process allowed Administrator Griffin to assume his role and begin making critical and timely decisions during these final preparation steps. While eager to return to flight, NASA is following a timetable based on minimizing risk and maximizing safety rather than arbitrary deadlines. I look forward to Shuttle Discovery's launch initiating a new era of space exploration and research."

Editor's note: commenting on this release, Sen. Hutchison's press officer, Chris Paulitz, added "Last night, when Sen. Hutchison spoke with Dr. Griffin, she told him she worked hard to get him confirmed quickly just for this purpose -- so he would have ample time to look at the systems thoroughly before launch. This is exactly why, as subcommittee chair, she worked so hard to get him confirmed in a timely manner through her committee."

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