Skip to comments.Shuttle explodes Over Texas
Posted on 02/01/2003 6:56:54 AM PST by kattracksEdited on 04/13/2004 1:40:20 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
CAPE CANAVERAL (AP) — The space shuttle Columbia has exploded over Texas.
The space shuttle Columbia lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center on January 16.
NASA declared an emergency after losing communication with space shuttle Columbia as the ship soared over Texas several minutes before its expected landing time Saturday morning.
(Excerpt) Read more at usatoday.com ...
Needless to say, that opinion is going to be second-guessed...
NASA Warns of Possible Shuttle Debris in Texas
Sat February 1, 2003 09:57 AM ET
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - The U.S. space agency NASA lost contact with the space shuttle Columbia minutes before its scheduled landing on Saturday and said there could be debris in Texas from the orbiter.
Television images showed several white trails in the blue sky, which could be an indication of the breakup of the shuttle because normally only a single trail is visible.
NASA said it scrambled rescue units to search in Texas for the shuttle and its seven astronauts, which included the first Israeli astronaut, Col. Ilan Ramonan Israeli.
The agency lost contact at around 9 a.m., about 16 minutes before its scheduled landing at Kennedy Space Center.
Columbia is NASA's oldest shuttle and first flew in 1981. This is the most serious incident involving a shuttle since the 1986 crash of the space shuttle Challenger, which carried seven astronauts.
I believe that they were correct.
Lets see how the muslim world reacts. Are they part of the human race or not? If Saddy says its great an Israeli died let's not way til March to get him.
First indication of breakup.
Shuttle, crew lost
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Space shuttle Columbia and its seven-member crew, including Israel's first astronaut Ilan Ramon, were lost upon return to Earth Saturday following a 16-day space research mission.
Observers in Houston who could see the shuttle as it flew overhead enroute to the Kennedy Space Center in Houston reported debris falling from the sky.
"It looked just like the Mir breakup," said Stephen Clark, a contributor to spaceflightnow.com.
Ground control teams in Houston lost tracking and radio contact with the shuttle at 9 a.m. ET.
"Contingency procedures are in effect," said commentator James Hartsfield.
Under tight security, shuttle Columbia lifted off on Jan. 16. In addition to Ramon, the crew included commander Rick Husband, pilot Willie McCool, flight engineer Kalpana Chawla, payload commander Michael Anderson and astronauts David Brown and Laurel Clark.
Rescue teams have been alerted in the central Houston area and residents have been warned not to touch any debris, which could contain toxic substances.
The mission was the first of six planned for this year, with the remainder of the flights devoted to space station assembly.
The loss of the shuttle and the crew comes 17 years after the Challenger accident, which claimed the lives of seven astronauts, including teacher in space Christa McAuliffe. The woman who trained alongside McAuliffe and served as her backup was to fly on Columbia's next mission this November.
There has been no determination what caused Columbia to fall from the sky.
Warnings From NASA on Falling Debris; Bush Calls MeetingBy THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
APE CANAVERAL, Fla. NASA declared an emergency after losing communication with space shuttle Columbia as the ship soared over Texas several minutes before its expected landing time Saturday morning.
Fearing the worst, NASA ordered flight controllers to pull out emergency procedures and ordered them to retain all their records.
Columbia was aiming for a touch down at 9:16 a.m.
It was at an altitude of 200,700 feet, traveling at 12,500 mph when mission control lost contact. There was no further communication and no further tracking data.
Reporters at the landing strip were ordered away 7 minutes after the scheduled touchdown with still no sign of the shuttle.
Inside Mission Control, flight controller hovered in front of their computers, staring at the screens. The wives, husbands and children of the astronauts who had been waiting at the landing strip were gathered together by NASA and taken to separate place.
Columbia was at an altitude of 200,700 feet over north-central Texas at a 9 a.m., traveling at 12,500 mph when mission control lost contact and tracking data.
NASA, while not saying the shuttle had exploded, broken up or crashed, warned that any debris found in the area should be avoided and could be hazardous.
In 42 years of human space flight, NASA has never lost a space crew during landing or the ride back to orbit. In 1986, space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff.
Security had been tight for the 16-day scientific research mission that included the first Israeli astronaut.
Ilan Ramon, a colonel in Israel's air force and former fighter pilot, became the first man from his country to fly in space, and his presence resulted in an increase in security, not only for Columbia's Jan. 16 launch, but also for its landing. Space agency officials feared his presence might make the shuttle more of a terrorist target.
On launch day, a piece of insulating foam on the external fuel tank came off during liftoff and was believed to have struck the left wing of the shuttle. NASA said as late as Friday that the damage to the thermal tiles was believed to be minor and posed no safety concern during the fiery decent through the atmosphere.
According to someone from NASA speaking on CNN there was no possiblity (or means) to eject specifically because of altitude and speed.
On behalf of posters on Free Republic, I post this with deepest sympathy for the crew and their families.
Mission - sts107
They may take "credit" of course, but more likely they'll say that Allah did it. Not only was there an Israeli on board, but the shuttle landed in Palestine Texas. To Islamists, that's likely to seem a pretty clear message from God.
It was similar to what I remember hearing as a child the day Texas City blew up and the windows in my school shook.
My cousins who live north of Dallas heard a very loud boom and their dogs went crazy.
Their decision not to abort before reaching orbit will be debated for a long time.
Mrs. Bat and I were discussing just this scenario, as well as speculating whether or not our media would report it....my guess is "not"
Shuttle contact lost, NASA declares emergency
Shuttle seen over Texas before communication lost
Saturday, February 1, 2003 Posted: 9:56 AM EST (1456 GMT)
JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, Houston, Texas (CNN) -- Mission controllers lost contact Saturday with the space shuttle Columbia as it sliced through the atmosphere toward an planned landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Search-and-rescue teams from the Dallas-Fort Worth area were alerted and area residents were urged to stay away from any possible debris from the shuttle, which may be hazardous, said NASA public affairs officer James Hartfield.
The Bush administration was preparing to convene a "domestic event" conference among all domestic and military agencies that may be involved in the next step.
NASA officials said they last had contact with the shuttle at about 9 a.m. EST, and it had been expected to touch down at about 9:16 a.m. EST.
The shuttle was at 200,700 feet, traveling at 12,500 mph, when contact was lost.
Video of the shuttle tracking over Dallas showed multiple vapor trails, but NASA spokesman Kyle Herring said it was too early to determine the source.
Steve Petrovich, a police officer in Palestine, Texas, said he heard "a rumble and boom" at about 8 a.m. CDT (9 a.m. EST).
Jim Hubbs of New Boston, Texas, said he heard police discussing over a police scanner "a smoking object going southeast" that disappeared in the Bowie County area near the Arkansas state line.
Officials said no tracking data were available.
Israel's first astronaut was among the 7-person crew.
Columbia is the oldest of NASA's shuttle fleet, first launched in 1981. It was on its 28th mission.
The possibility occurs that someone could have planted a bomb. Certainly no missile at that altitude/velocity.
Now the entire Shuttle fleet will be grounded; we will have to evacuate the Space Station and it will have to be done via Soyuz.
Even if another vehicle had to be launched to rescue the crew, and the Columbia skuttled in orbit?
How easy could it be to sabotage the insulation panels over the fuel tanks in an attempt to ruin a Jewish triumph?
< /removing tin hat >
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