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NASA ARC Internal Memo: Spacehab Litigation Request

Status Report From: Ames Research Center
Posted: Friday, December 8, 2006

Date: Mon 27 Nov 2006
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Centerwide Announcement
Subject: Message from the Director IMMEDIATE ACTION - Spacehab Litigation Request, Response by Nov. 29

Message from the Director
IMMEDIATE ACTION - Spacehab Litigation Request, Response by Nov. 29

NASA currently has litigation with Spacehab Inc. pending before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, arising from the loss of the Columbia as it returned from the STS-107 mission on February 1, 2003. Spacehab's Research Double Module (RDM) was aboard Columbia and was totally destroyed in the accident. This litigation is in the discovery phase and Spacehab has requested copies of certain documents (hard copy and electronic forms - including e-mail). NASA is legally obligated to identify and preserve all relevant material.

NASA Ames provided specific support to the Columbia Accident Investigation, and has already identified most, if not all, of the relevant documents and other records in its Investigation Organizer (IO) generated during or for the Columbia Accident Investigation.

However, to be sure all relevant material is preserved, it is important that any employees who may have other documents or records within the categories below contact the Office of the Chief Counsel no later than COB, Wednesday, November 29, 2006. Please contact Thomas Berndt, Deputy Chief Counsel, at Thomas.W.Berndt@nasa.gov or 604-2181 if you have any such records.

The scope of the discovery request received by NASA is as follows:

1) All documents that in any way discuss the formation and operations of Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB).

2) All documents that in any way relate to or discuss the loss of foam from the ET or testing/inspection or damage to reinforced carbon-carbon components on the Space Shuttle.

3) All documents that in any way relate to or discuss the adequacy of the Space Shuttle's External Tank in light of foam losses.

4) All documents that in any way relate to or discuss the adequacy of NASA's Safety Program related to Shuttle operations dated after January 1998.

5) All documents that in any way relate to or discuss any NASA employee or contractor reaction or response to the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident (Rogers Commission) or implementing recommendations related thereto.

6) All documents that in any way relate to or discuss Instrumentation Technology Associates (ITA) or ITA's payloads on STS-107.

Again, as we need to get a list of any records or documents to HQ by November 30, you are asked to let the Office of the Chief Counsel know of any relevant documents or records you may have within the above categories by COB, Wednesday, November 29, 2006 (Thomas Berndt, Deputy Chief Counsel: Thomas.W.Berndt@nasa.gov or 604-2181).

Thanks in advance for your help in responding to this time-critical request.

Pete Worden
Center Director

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