Colorado Springs, CO, March 15, 2019 – Dr. Daniel Heimerdinger, Exostrategies’ Chief Executive Officer was invited to present a briefing on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board’s (CAIB) findings as well as some personal observations in remembrance of the loss of the Columbia Space Shuttle’s crew of seven on February 1, 2003. The CAIB, as an independent investigation was chartered to uncover the “facts, as well as the actual or probable causes of the Shuttle mishap” and to “recommend preventative and other appropriate actions to preclude the recurrence of a similar mishap.”
Dan was invited to provide this presentation as part of Sandia National Laboratory’s National Security Speaker Series after he presented a similar briefing on November 7, 2018 at the Department of Energy’s Kansas City National Security Campus. This briefing recounted the conclusions of the CAIB’s final report as well as some of Dr. Heimerdinger’s experiences as a member of the CAIB’s Independent Analysis Team and subsequently through his participation as an advisor to NASA’s most senior executives.
“I am so proud to be invited to speak at such an important organization as Sandia National Laboratory on this event that had such an impact on my professional life. Each year I reread the CAIB’s final report to remind me of the challenges of spaceflight and the important lessons that we learn from such tragedies. I feel an obligation to the crew and to future crews to help reduce the risks inherent to spaceflight through briefings such as this one and subsequent discussions engineers, operators, and other team members,” said Dr. Heimerdinger. “It is our duty to try to prevent history from repeating itself and to make sure that future generations who expand the bounds of spaceflight and other critical programs of national importance understand these challenges and remain diligent. I believe that we need to always keep in mind what Dr. Harry McDonald said during the CAIB, ‘Each launch should be treated as the first launch, each orbit as the first orbit, and each reentry as the first reentry.’”