This article made me completely blow my lid.
The independent group overseeing NASA's effort to resume shuttle flights said Friday the agency has completed the first steps toward returning to space. [...]
"The progress that has been made by NASA in implementing the recommendations of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board are substantial," said former shuttle commander Richard Covey, who is leading the task group.
While I'm glad that Covey is interested in following the recommendations of that well-written and well-researched report, perhaps it would have been of some benefit for him to have read it, or at least understood it when he read it.
The report says, in summary: The shuttle is not safe, cannot be made safe, and should only be used when absolutely necessary. Unsurprisingly, the report made after the Challenger failed said essentially the same thing.
The report also goes on at length about how NASA made ludicrous unsubstantiated claims as to the shuttle's safety, even after Challenger. And then, at the end of this article, without irony, we see a NASA official continuing the exact same claims.
"There is no doubt that this vehicle will be the most safe vehicle that has ever flown," Cuzzupoli said.
Whether out of arrogance or stupidity, Cuzzupoli is acting with a callous disregard for human life. Common sense indicates when the vehicle with the worst safety record in history claims to be the safest ever made it's completely full of shit. In this case, common sense is right.
Unsurprisingly, the entire NASA safety advisory panel quit last year, all on the same day. Perhaps they care a bit more about human life.