NASA's Space Shuttle Program: The Columbia Tragedy, the Discovery Mission, and the Future of the Shuttle [December 6, 2005] [open pdf - 64KB]
"On August 9, 2005, the space shuttle Discovery successfully completed the first of two 'Return to Flight' (RTF) missions -- STS-114. It was the first shuttle launch since the February 1, 2003, Columbia tragedy. NASA announced on July 27, 2005, the day after STS-114's launch, that a second RTF mission has been indefinitely postponed because of a problem that occurred during Discovery's launch that is similar to what led to the loss of Columbia. Two shuttle-related facilities in Mississippi and Louisiana were damaged by Hurricane Katrina, which is further affecting the shuttle schedule. It currently is expected some time in 2006. This report discusses the Columbia tragedy, the Discovery mission, and issues for Congress regarding the future of the shuttle. For more information, see CRS Issue Brief IB93062, 'Space Launce Vehicles: Government Activities, Commercial Competition, and Satellite Exports', by Marcia Smith. This report is updated regularly."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21408