Editor's note:The following is a transcript of an exchange during a STS-121 press briefing on 6 July 2006 with reporters participating on site at NASA JSC and by telephone from KSC and NASA Headquarters. The briefer at JSC was Lead flight director Tony Ceccacci. I asked if NASA could release the procedure document(s) that describe how NASA would implement a CSCS [Contingency Shuttle Crew Support] or "Safe Haven" scenario if a shuttle crew were required to await rescue aboard the ISS.
Given that NASA has already posted the Space Shuttle Program Contingency Action Plan, NSTS-12820 Generic Flight Rules, and NSTS-18308 STS-107 Flight Rules as well as daily STS-121 Execute Packages, one would think that the release of this material would be a simple matter to accomplish. Alas, NASA did not say "Yes" when I asked. Instead they said "that's something we'll have to look into."
KEITH COWING: This is Keith Cowing from NASAWatch.com, During the Flight Readiness Review, the objections of Bryan O'Connor and Chris Scolese were overruled specifically because of the capability of the space station to provide Safe Haven. Clearly you have a clean vehicle - and I doubt that there is anything remotely close to causing you to not use it. But if, for example, today you were to discover a hole or something that would preclude you from coming back, how would you implement Safe Haven? I would assume that there is a document, and I was wondering if you could release that document. And very specifically, if you've got people up there for 80 or 90 days, what would they do? Would they look out the window? Are there procedures for things that they could do? Would they clean things up? How would you go about this? And I have a follow-up.
TONY CECCACCI: They'd pray a lot until a rescue vehicle could get up there and get them. [laughter] Right now, if we were to know there's - you know we have flight rules in place that tell you exactly what we will do if a CSCS [Contingency Shuttle Crew Support] and Launch on Need is initiated. It goes through a list of different items - starting to get the rescue vehicle - the critical items we need to transfer. So, we have flight rules that tell us what to do, so to speak, and what actions that we need to perform if CSCS ever did get called. And then, of course, each different group has standard procedures, reference documents. I know that we do in our office about all the work we did for unmanned undocking and how we developed the docked duration time for the CSCS on the orbiter side, and such - and the call up plan to get the teams ready and all that. So we have all that documentation available for us.
KEITH COWING: Follow-up. Then, can you release that documentation so that we can get an idea of how this would come about?
TONY CECCACCI: [pause] Oh, I don't know ...
JSC PAO PERSON: [interrupts] That's something we'll have to look into.
KEITH COWING: OK, Thank you.
TONY CECCACCI: But we do have the flight rules - I don't know if that - by Kylie will find out for you.
KEITH COWING: Well, I guess the main issue is - that this was the prime reason why these two gentlemen's objections were overruled. And I would think that you would have some sort of summary that you could put out there that was the basis for that rationale. That's the end of my question.
TRACI WATSON: Traci Watson, USA Today - you said earlier that there would be enough time today ...
TONY CECCACCI: [Interrupts - laugher in auditorium at JSC] OK ... [pause] like you said ... you've read it all in the news - what happened at the FRR - and we go through the process and we determine what the CSCS capability is. I don't think I can add anything else to what you are asking for. You know, we have internal processes - how we calculate everything - but I don't know what specifics you need to know - how we do it - we have 81 days of CSAS capability.