28 August 2003
Commenting on the Columbia accident report delivered to NASA by the independent Investigation Board, Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of the European Space Agency, said:
“The loss of Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew on 1 February has deeply affected the space community worldwide. Despite the heavy toll taken by this accident, we maintain our commitment to share space exploration with our International Space Station partners and contribute to future crewed missions.
The European Space Agency acknowledges the outstanding work done by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board and all who contributed to a report of exceptional quality making sound recommendations.
ESA will work shoulder to shoulder with NASA and its international partners to ensure that ISS operations continue at the highest level of safety”.
“Meanwhile, in anticipation of a safe return of the Shuttle fleet to human space flight, the ESA astronaut corps is carrying on with training and other assignments in preparation for the upcoming flights by ESA astronauts Pedro Duque and André Kuipers to the ISS on Russian Soyuz launches in October 2003 and April 2004 and later in 2004 by ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang on a US Space Shuttle ”, added Jörg Feustel-Büechl, ESA Director of Human Space Flight.
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