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Employee rides down a baggage conveyor belt  (Source: AP)
NASA kept research data private to avoid a panic

If you're afraid of flying, this recent article compiled by the Associated Press probably won't relieve any of your pre-flight stress.

After conducting an $8.5 million safety project that revealed safety problems, NASA withheld the results to avoid upsetting air passengers.  The following safety issues take place more than the public is aware - bird strikes, near mid-air collisions and runway interference.  NASA interviewed more than 24,000 commercial and private pilots over a four-year span that started in 2000 - after finishing the interviews and stopping all research, NASA has spent the past year silent about data gathered.

NASA last week requested the main contractor delete all relevant information from its computers.  According to NASA, no collected data was severe enough to warrant contacting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  

Publishing the data could have damaged the "public's confidence in airlines and affect airline profits," said Thomas Luedtke, senior NASA official.

"If the airlines aren't safe I want to know about it," said Rep. Brad Miller, R-N.C., chairman of the House Science and Technology investigations and oversight subcommittee.  "I would rather not feel a false sense of security because they don't tell us," he added.

The House Science and Technology committee will now reportedly launch an investigation, also warning NASA and its contractor to not delete any documents.

Due to the AP article published in the morning, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said the U.S. space agency will work to try and find a way some of the information can be published for everyone.  The information "should be widely available and subject to review and scrutiny," he said in an official NASA statement.

NASA Ames Research Center officials want to publish a public report before 2008.


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Let's just wait it out
By tspinning on 10/23/2007 10:55:48 AM , Rating: 2
Well, if NASA published the info on antiquated air traffic control practices, over-tired pilots, and improper use of airspace, they would then be looked upon to do something about this, which they would then claim, we have no jurisdiction, no money, and no ability to enforce anything, we study the stuff however!

Why is our society so afraid to spend money on things that are current issues, why do we not look at the black smoke in the sky and not think fire until it is at our doorstep? Fundamentally there are bigger issues in the way we (our government) goes about things.

Anyone remember the huge brown outs/black outs that swept the east a few years ago? I'm fairly sure at least one electrical engineer had thought, maybe these power lines laid in 1932 aren't really able to work with today's power loads...

Why do we allow (elect) so many old boys to sit around and pat each other on the backs, smoking $100 cigars, wearing suits that cost more then the average used car, chortling about the great things they are doing...

Please, ignorance may be bliss, but just because knowledge doesn't always result in happiness, doesn't mean we shouldn't know!




RE: Let's just wait it out
By sj420 on 10/23/2007 12:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
After all its all about profits, in other words, money stuffed in the fat guy at the CEO desk's pocket. Thats all that matters.

The whole thing with "Consumer discomfort - Profit ups" means they are cutting on spending on their side, cutting on service, and being fine with late flights. They win because they stuff more money into their pocket.

Greed gets the best of them though, and the big ones fall the hardest.


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