NASA's Space Shuttle Program: The Columbia Tragedy, the Discovery Mission, and the Future of the Shuttle
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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On August 9, 2005, the space shuttle Discovery successfully completed the first of two Return to Flight RTF missions - STS-114. It was the first shuttle launch since the February 1, 2003, Columbia tragedy. NASA announced on July 27, 2005, the day after STS-114s launch, that a second RTF mission would be indefinitely postponed because of a problem that occurred during Discoverys launch that is similar to what led to the loss of Columbia. The next launch is currently expected some time in 2006. This report discusses the Columbia tragedy, the Discovery mission, and issues for Congress regarding the future of the shuttle. For more information, see CRS Issue Brief IB93062, Space Launce Vehicles Government Activities, Commercial Competition, and Satellite Exports, by Marcia S. Smith. This is the final edition of this report.
- Manned Spacecraft