Washington-AP -- NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe is the man who must find the answers.
Just over a year into his job as head of the space agency, he must determine what went wrong with shuttle Columbia today and restore trust in the agency.
He says the families of the seven lost astronauts have been assured that NASA will immediately begin trying "to recover their loved ones and discover the cause of this tragedy."
Moved from the White House to the space agency in January 2002, O'Keefe's job was to rein in cost overruns, many involving big-ticket programs like the international space station. Within the agency, he's viewed as a manager rather than a visionary.
He said once that NASA's "crown jewels" are its people. Today's are the first deaths on his watch.