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For Immediate Release
CAIB PA 14-03

Date: March 21, 2003
Laura Brown, 281-283-7565 or 281-467-8657
Contact: Lt. Col Woody Woodyard, 281-283-7520 or 713-301-2244

Columbia Accident Investigation Board Holds Third Public Hearing

Houston - The Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) will hold public hearings on Tuesday, March 25, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST (12 p.m. to 3 p.m. CST) and Wednesday, March 26, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST (8 a.m. to 11 a.m. CST) at the Radisson Resort at the Port, 8701 Astronaut Boulevard, Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The Board's chairman, retired Navy Admiral Harold W. "Hal" Gehman Jr., and other board members will hear from individuals who have been asked to appear before the Board. Experts will discuss the Role of the Kennedy Space Center in the Shuttle Program, Shuttle Safety and Debris Collection, Layout and Analysis and Forensic Metallurgy. Following a brief presentation, the speakers will answer questions from the Board during the hearing.

The speakers include: Roy Bridges, Center Director, Kennedy Space Center; Bill Higgins, Chief of Shuttle Processing Safety and Mission Assurance Division, Kennedy Space Center; Aloysius G. Casey, Lt. Gen., USAF (Retired); Mike Rudolphi, Deputy Director, Stennis Space Center; Steve Altemus, Shuttle Test Director, Kennedy Space Center; Dr. Gregory T. A. Kovacs, Associate Professor of Electronics, Stanford University; and Mark Tanner, Vice President and Senior Consulting Engineer, Mechanical & Materials Engineering.

Fox Television is the pool for the hearing. They will broadcast on: Tuesday, March 25, 1300- 1600 EST - T-6 / K-20 / Digital 2 and Wednesday, March 26, 900 - 1430 EST - T-6 / K-20 / Digital 2. For questions on these coordinates please contact: Marnie Zambri, 404-229-5724 or 404-685-2280.

The following are brief biographies of the hearing speakers:

TUESDAY, March 25, 2003:

Roy Bridges is Director of NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center. He is responsible for managing all NASA’s facilities and activities at the Kennedy Space Center related to processing and launch of the Space Shuttle, processing and integrating NASA payloads flown on both the Shuttle and Expendable Launch Vehicles (ELVs), final tests and preparation of International Space Station (ISS) elements and experiments to be delivered to the ISS by the Space Shuttle, and developing spaceport and range technologies to improve safety and reduce the cost of access to space. He is also a former NASA Astronaut and piloted the Space Shuttle Challenger on mission STS-51F. Mr. Bridges is a retired U. S. Air Force Major General who held many key space-related roles during his career. Prior to his last USAF assignment at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, he was the Commander, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base. He also was Commander, Eastern Space and Missile Center, Patrick Air Force Base; and Commander, 412th Test Wing, Edwards Air Force Base. Mr. Bridges has a Master of Science degree in astronautics from Purdue University and a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering science from the U. S. Air Force Academy.

William Higgins is the Chief of Shuttle Processing Safety and Mission Assurance Division at the Kennedy Space Center. He is responsible for all aspects of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program role in safety and quality for ground operations and integrated logistics at the Kennedy Space Center. He is also responsible for procurement quality activities for the entire Center. Previous positions at NASA include: Associate Director for Safety and Mission Assurance Integration and New Initiatives, Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate Technical Assistant, Industrial and Payload Safety Engineering Branch Chief, Reliability Engineering Branch Chief, KSC Space Station Reliability and Quality Program Manager, and KSC Space Station Safety Program Manager. Additionally, Mr. Higgins has NASA experience in Industrial Safety Engineering and Payload Safety Engineering. Mr. Higgins received his Master of Science in Engineering Management from the University of Central Florida and his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toledo. He also received one year of safety engineering education and training from the U. S. Army at the Intern Training Center at Red River Army Depot in Texarkana, Texas.

Lieutenant General Aloysius G. Casey is retired from the United States Air Force and is currently a technical and management consultant who specializes in space systems, launch vehicles, aircraft, unmanned air vehicles and associated weapons systems. During his 34-year career with the Air Force, he was Commander of the Space Division of the Air Force Systems Command. In this position, he was charged with managing the design, development, delivery and operation of the Air Force space systems and launch vehicles. During this period, the Titan 34D returned to operational status; the Titan IV contract was negotiated; and two new medium launch vehicles; the Delta II; the Atlas II were established; and several on- orbit constellations were refreshed. General Casey was Commander of the Ballistic Missile Office and Peacekeeper (MX) Program Director. He managed the design development, and delivery of the Peacekeeper Weapons System from approval through initial operational capability. He directed the development flight test program noted for completion without failure. General Casey also worked in the Minuteman Program, A-10 and B-1 aircraft developments. General Casey has a Masters of Science degree in Astronautics from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy. He also attended the United States Air Force Air War College.

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2003:

Michael U. Rudolphi is the Deputy Director of Stennis Space Center, where he came on board in December of 2002. Prior to this, he was a manager for the Reusable Solid Rocket Motor Project at the Marshall Space Flight Center where he was responsible for the design, manufacture and flight performance of the solid rocket motors used on NASA’s space shuttle. He also served as Chief Engineer and Project Manager for the Solid Rocket Booster Project. Prior to the Advanced Solid Rocket Motor Project, he was assigned to the Solid Rocket Booster Project (SRB) to manage the resident office at the contractor plant at the Kennedy Space Center. He has also managed the design, construction and operation of an ultra-modem $700 million rocket manufacturing facility. As a Field Engineering Manager at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), he managed the work of 300 managers, engineers and technicians in support of the construction of a two-unit nuclear power plant. During his tenure at TVA, he also worked as Design Engineering Supervisor. Mr. Rudolphi earned his Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the University of Tennessee.

Steve Altemus is the Shuttle Test Director at NASA. During his tenure with the Launch and Landing Division, he has managed numerous shuttle countdowns and launches. Prior to this, he was a Vehicle Operations Engineer primarily responsible for the orbiter Discovery. Mr. Altemus has a Master's of Science in Engineering Management from the University of Central Florida and a Bachelor's of Science Aeronautical Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Dr. Gregory T. A. Kovacs is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University with a joint courtesy appointment in the Department of Medicine. His present research areas include biomedical instruments and sensors, miniaturized spaceflight hardware, and biotechnology. In addition, Dr. Kovacs is the Director of Medical Device Technologies for the Stanford-NASA National Biocomputation Center and a collaborator at NASA Ames Research Center. He helps direct a variety of projects spanning wearable crew physiologic monitors, biosensor instruments for space biology, and free-flyer experiments. He is published extensively in technical literature, including authorship of a popular engineering textbook. He is a long-standing member of the Defense Sciences Research Council (DARPA), and has served as Associate Chair and Chairman. He also has extensive industry experience including co-founding several companies, most recently Cepheid in Sunnyvale, CA. He received an NSF Young Investigator Award, held the Noyce Family Chair, and was a Terman and then University Fellow at Stanford. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Dr. Kovacs is a private pilot, scuba diver, and a Fellow National of the Explorers Club. Dr. Kovacs received a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, an MS degree in Bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. and an MD degree from Stanford University.

G. Mark Tanner is a Vice President and Senior Consulting Engineer at Mechanical & Materials Engineering. He is responsible for failure/forensic analyses, mechanical analyses, and metallurgical examinations on a variety of industrial equipment. Mr. Tanner also conducts on-site investigations on a variety of components including chemical, petrochemical, pulp and paper, utility, heavy manufacturing, food, and commercial establishments. He has coordinated more than 250 analyses in his career. During the last 10 years, his primary responsibility has been in large failure investigations that require extensive on-site investigation and often reconstruction of the failed components to determine the origin of failure. He also assists and coordinates a team of experts to determine the root cause of the failure. Mr. Tanner provides assistance in risk assessment of industrial equipment and helps with the identification and quantification of risk associated with the maintenance, operation, inspection, monitoring, history, and engineering practices applied to complicated equipment. He received his Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science degrees from Texas A&M University. He has authored or co-authored 17 papers and given six invited technical presentations.

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