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February 01, 2003

from press briefing
My notes taken from radio broadcast of NASA press statements

Sean O Keefe, NASA administrator
Indeed a tragic day for the NASA family, for family of the astronauts who flew on STS 107.

"We lost communication a little after 9 a.m. We began contigency plans to record all and save all activities.

Spoke to President Bush and shs security Tom Ridge. The president, specifically, offered full and immediate support.

We then spent the next one and a half hours working through the details of what we have received.

I assure them and tou we will start immediately to find out wehat happened, paraphrase.

There is no indication that it was an attack from anyone or anything on the ground.

We have appointed a mishap investigation board ... independent from NASA, charged with the opportunity to look at all the information immediately locked down.

the group is made up of safety emission assurance individuals. The chair of team is outside the federal purvey. ... to coordinate an understanding of what path the STS107 took.

We need to assure the material on the ground is secured so we can begind an investigation immediately.

The investigation will be in coordination with DHS [ed would have been FEMA], O Keefe said.

Today started out as a pretty happy morning and we couldn't wait to congratulate them.

These astronauts dedicated their lives to pushing scientific challenges for those of us here on earth. The loss of this day and crew is something we will never be able to get over.

We will do everything we can possibly do to get through this horrific tragedy. We hope the media will help. Please respect their privacy as we get through this.

An extraordinary group of astronauts who gave their lives. Who knew the risks but could not possible have imagined this could occur.

We will conduct the investigation responsiblity, competently.
--- Sean O' Keefe, NASA administrator

CAPT. BILL REEDY, ass. administrator for space flight.

Truly a difficult day for all of us. Many of us were standing along the runway waiting for the succesful end to their 16-day mission.

At nine o clock we heard that they had lost data from the spacecraft. The loss of data was over northeast, Texas and ... we initiated a search and rescue effort.

Sadly, from the video that's available, it does not appear there were any survivors.

We must find the problem , fix it and move on.

Today was a stark reminder that this is a very risky endevour. After 113 flights people have a tendency to look at it as sometihng that is more or less routine. Each time I flew and my colleagues flew we approached it with the responsibility that it commanded.

My promise to the crew and to the crew families is that the investigation we have just launched will find the cause, will fix it and we will move on.