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Independent Oversight

As recommended in the "Presidential Commission Report" and at the request of the NASA administrator, the National Research Council established an Independent Oversight Panel chaired by Dr. H. Guyford Stever, who reports directly to the NASA Administrator. Initially, the panel was given introductory briefings on the Shuttle system requirements, implementation and control, the original design and manufacturing of the SRM, Mission 51-L accident analyses and preliminary plans for the redesign. The panel has met with major SRM manufacturers and vendors, and has visited some of their facilities. The panel frequently reviewed the RSRM design criteria, engineering analyses and design, and certification program planning. Panel members continuously review the design and testing for safe operation, selection and specifications for material, and quality assurance and control. The panel has continued to review the design as it progresses through certification and review the manufacturing and assembly of the first flight RSRM. Panel members have participated in major program milestones, project requirements review, and preliminary design review; they also will participate in future review. Six written reports have been provided by the panel to the NASA administrator.

In addition to the NRC, the redesign team has a design review group of 12 expert senior engineers from NASA and the aerospace industry. They have advised on major program decisions and serve as a "sounding board" for the program.

Additionally, NASA requested the four other major SRM companies -- Aerojet Strategic Propulsion Co., Atlantic Research Corp., Hercules Inc. and United Technologies Corp.'s Chemical Systems Division -- to participate in the redesign efforts by critiquing the design approach and providing experience on alternative design approaches.

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
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