NASA appoints another accident board

/ Source: The Associated Press

For the second time in a week, NASA has taken the infrequent step of appointing a board to investigate an accident at the Kennedy Space Center.

The five-member board appointed Thursday will examine how a construction worker fell off a warehouse last week while performing roof repairs. The worker — identified as Steven Owens, a 46-year-old employee of Oneida Construction — died later at a hospital.

A final report with recommendations on safety procedures is expected in a month, said NASA spokesman Bruce Buckingham.

The panel's appointment comes almost a week after another investigative committee was formed to examine how the robotic arm of space shuttle Discovery was dented by a platform being used to clean up broken glass earlier this month.

The Discovery mishap was one in a series this year at the space center.

In January, workers did not lock down the space shuttle Endeavour's nose wheel landing gear while transferring it between floor jacks, causing the orbiter to pitch forward. Earlier this month, an X-ray film container was dropped on Endeavour, requiring tile repairs.

Two weeks ago, workers repairing the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building inadvertently started a small fire. There was no major damage.