26.6 million paid to the families of the astrnauts who died in the sapce shuttle Columbia in 2003
According to WJZ NASA paid $26.6 million to family members of the astronauts who died on the space shuttle Columbia in 2003. Documents obtained by the Orlando Sentinel through a federal Freedom of Information Act request show that former FBI Director William Webster helped negotiate out-of-court settlements with the families.
According to WCCO the U.S. space agency had never before disclosed the settlement to protect the privacy of the Columbia families. Also, the Orlando Sentinel reported two astronaut families had ordered preflight insurance policies through NASA, but the agency failed to obtain the additional coverage before the accident. The families then threatened to go public before the agency paid the two families the additional insurance.