Executive Order 12546 -- Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident

February 3, 1986

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and statutes of the United States of America, including the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App. I), and in order to establish a commission of distinguished Americans to investigate the accident to the Space Shuttle Challenger, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Establishment. (a) There is established the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident. The Commission shall be composed of not more than 20 members appointed or designated by the President. The members shall be drawn from among distinguished leaders of the government, and the scientific, technical, and management communities.

(b) The President shall designate a Chairman and a Vice Chairman from among the members of the Commission.

Sec. 2. Functions. (a) The Commission shall investigate the accident to the Space Shuttle Challenger, which occurred on January 28, 1986.

(b) The Commission shall:

(1) Review the circumstances surrounding the accident to establish the probable cause or causes of the accident; and

(2) Develop recommendations for corrective or other action based upon the Commission's findings and determinations.

(c) The Commission shall submit its final report to the President and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration within one hundred and twenty days of the date of this Order.

Sec. 3. Administration. (a) The heads of Executive departments and agencies shall, to the extent permitted by law, provide the Commission with such information as it may require for purposes of carrying out its functions.

(b) Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation for their work on the Commission. However, members appointed from among private citizens of the United States may be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, to the extent permitted by law for persons serving intermittently in the government service (5 U.S.C. 5701 - 5707).

(c) To the extent permitted by law, and subject to the availability of appropriations, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shall provide the Commission with such administrative services, funds, facilities, staff, and other support services as may be necessary for the performance of its functions.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other Executive Order, the functions of the President under the Federal Advisory Committee Act which are applicable to the Commission, except that of reporting annually to the Congress, shall be performed by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, in accordance with guidelines and procedures established by the Administrator of General Services.

(b) The Commission shall terminate 60 days after submitting its final report.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

February 3, 1986.

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:37 p.m., February 3, 1986]