One of the roots of my concern is that nobody will know for sure when the safety margin has been eroded too far," Blomberg told Congress "All of my instincts, however, suggest that the current approach is planting the seeds for future danger."
Last year, the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel's first finding said:
"The current and proposed budgets are not sufficient to improve or even maintain the safety risk level of operating the Space Shuttle and ISS (International Space Station).
The panel said: "When risk reduction efforts . . . are deferred, astronauts are exposed to higher levels of flight risk for more years than necessary."
Testimony at that hearing highlighted $229 million in budget cuts to shuttle safety upgrades in the last three years' budgets. The annual shuttle budget is about $3.2 billion.
Six of those panel members were dismissed in March 2001 after making such complaints for years.
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