Appointment of 12 Members of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident, and Designation of the Chairman and Vice Chairman

February 3, 1986

The President today announced the following individuals to be members of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident. He designated William P. Rogers, former Secretary of State and Attorney General, as Chairman; and Neil A. Armstrong, former astronaut and chairman of the board of Computing Technologies for Aviation, Inc., as Vice Chairman.

William P. Rogers, former Secretary of State (1969 - 1973) and Attorney General (1957 - 1961), currently a practicing attorney. Awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1973, he was born in Norfolk, NY, and currently is affiliated as a partner with the law firm of Rogers & Wells in New York City.

Neil A. Armstrong, former astronaut, joined NASA in 1958, currently is chairman of the board of Computing Technologies for Aviation, Inc., of Charlottesville, VA. Born in Wapakoneta, OH, Mr. Armstrong was spacecraft commander for Apollo 11, July 16 - 24, 1969, the first manned lunar landing mission. He left NASA in 1971 to assume the position of professor at the University of Cincinnati, where he taught aeronautical engineering until 1980. He was appointed to the National Commission on Space in 1985.

Brig. Gen. Charles (Chuck) Yeager, (USAF, Ret.), former experimental test pilot, appointed in 1985 to the National Commission on Space. Born in Myra, WV, he currently resides in Cedar Ridge, CA, where he is an aerospace consultant. He is the recipient of two unique aviation records, having been the first man to have penetrated the sound barrier and the first to fly at a speed of more than 1,600 miles an hour, which he achieved in December 1953.

Dr. Sally K. Ride, astronaut, born in Los Angeles, CA, currently resides in Houston, TX. She was a mission specialist on STS - 7, which was launched from Kennedy Space Center, FL, on June 18, 1983, and thus became the first American woman in space. This was also the second flight for the orbiter Challenger and the first mission with a 5-person crew. She holds a doctorate in physics (1978) from Stanford University and is training as a mission specialist.

Dr. Albert D. (Bud) Wheelon, physicist and currently a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, appointed in 1981. Born in Moline, IL, he is currently affiliated with Hughes Aircraft Co., where he serves as senior vice president and group president, space and communications group. He holds a doctorate in physics (1952) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and served as a consultant (1961 - 1974) to the President's Science Advisory Council.

Robert W. Rummel, longtime space expert and formerly vice president (engineering) of TWA, Inc. (1943 - 1959). Born in Dakota, IL, he is currently president of Robert W. Rummel Associates, Inc., of Mesa, AZ. An aerospace engineer, he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has been awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal.

Dr. Arthur B.C. Walker, Jr., professor of applied physics, Stanford University. Born in Cleveland, OH, he holds a doctorate in physics (1962) from the University of Illinois (Urbana). He is a consultant to Aerospace Corp., Rand Corp., and R&D Associates, Los Angeles. He is a member of the American Physicists Society, American Geophysical Union, American Astronomy Society, and the International Scientific Union.

Richard P. Feynman, physicist. Born in New York City, he is professor of theoretical physics at California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA. He holds a doctorate in physics (1942) from Princeton and received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965. He also received the Einstein Award in 1954, the Oersted Medal in 1972, and the Niels Bohr International Gold Medal in 1973.

Eugene E. Covert, educator, engineer. Born in Rapid City, SD, he is currently a professor of aeronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a consultant to NASA on rocket engines. In 1973 he was a recipient of the Exceptional Civilian Service Award, USAF, and in 1980 received the NASA Public Service Award.

Robert B. Hotz, editor, publisher. Born in Milwaukee, WI, he is the former editor of Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine, 1953 - 1980. An author, he has received numerous journalism awards, including the Press Award from the National Space Club, 1965. Since 1982 he has been a member of the General Advisory Committee to the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. He is a member of the White House Correspondents Association.

David C. Acheson, former senior vice president and general counsel, Communications Satellite Corp. (1967 - 1974), he is currently a partner in the Washington, DC, law firm of Drinker, Biddle and Reath. Born in the Nation's Capital, he has previously served as an attorney with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (1948 - 1950) and U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia (1961 - 1965). He holds an LL.B. from Harvard University (1948).

Maj. Gen. Donald J. Kutyna, USAF, director of Space Systems and Command Control and Communications. Born in Chicago, IL, he holds a B.S. from the United States Military Academy (1957), master of science in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1965). A command pilot with 4,000+ flying hours, he served as program manager for the AWACS for foreign military sales. Former manager of the Department of Defense space shuttle program (1982 - 1984), he managed design and construction of the west coast shuttle launch facility. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, and nine air medals.