WASHINGTON, 24 Jan. 2013. NASA officials reportedly are offering to provide technical expertise to Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to help resolve battery problems that have grounded the 787 Dreamliner fleet.
Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA-02), the leading House Democratic Appropriator for NASA, applauds this move; Fattah wrote to NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr. on 17 Jan. 2013 "asking that NASA lend its expert knowledge to Boeing…to address the technical problems related to the Dreamliner's lithium battery leakage." Fattah cited NASA's earlier success working with Toyota on its automotive acceleration problem.
Bolden informed Fattah that NASA was already in touch with Boeing even as it received the Congressman's letter.
"NASA has already begun interaction with Boeing and the FAA to provide necessary technical support in their effort to resolve the recent Boeing 787 issue with the Lithium Ion battery," Bolden wrote.
"NASA has been there before, offering its technical expertise to help solve problems for American manufacturers in the aerospace and other industries," Fattah says. "NASA is to be commended for seeing the need at Boeing and for responding quickly with its highly trained technicians and engineers to help return Dreamliners to the skies."
Bolden's letter continued, "I assure you that NASA will do its best to provide needed technical expertise to Boeing and the FAA for a safe resolution of the current issue…as we have done for the safety of our public on numerous occasions across the aerospace and other industry sectors and technical disciplines."
Fattah is the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies, which includes NASA.