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Shuttle explodes Over Texas
USA TODAY ^ | 2/01/03 | AP

Posted on 02/01/2003 6:56:54 AM PST by kattracks

Edited 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 ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: columbiatragedy; feb12003; india; israel; nasa; spaceshuttle; unitedstates
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1 posted on 02/01/2003 6:56:54 AM PST by kattracks
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To: kattracks
what are the emergency procedures at that time in the landing....is there some way they could of ejected?
2 posted on 02/01/2003 6:58:18 AM PST by Jalapeno
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To: Jalapeno
Not according to the guy I'm listening to on Fox news. This is the flight the Isreali is on isn't it?
3 posted on 02/01/2003 6:59:56 AM PST by GailA (Throw Away the Keys, Tennessee Tea Party, Start a tax revolt in your state)
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To: kattracks
Pieces are dropping across southeast Texas. My brother in law is a Houston Fire Department Captain has reported several calls of pieces in the Houston area.
4 posted on 02/01/2003 7:00:00 AM PST by Double Tap
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To: kattracks
Leroy Cain, the lead flight director in Mission Control, had assured reporters Friday that engineers had concluded that any damage to the wing was considered minor and posed no safety hazard.

Needless to say, that opinion is going to be second-guessed...

5 posted on 02/01/2003 7:01:04 AM PST by Menkenspiel
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To: GailA
There must of been some plan, although this may have been at the most vulnerable moment...
6 posted on 02/01/2003 7:01:30 AM PST by Jalapeno
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To: GailA
This is the flight the Isreali is on isn't it? - yes
7 posted on 02/01/2003 7:01:32 AM PST by Free_at_last_-2001
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To: kattracks
Jesus.
8 posted on 02/01/2003 7:01:39 AM PST by 11B3 (Sedition and Treason are DemonRat character traits.)
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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.


9 posted on 02/01/2003 7:01:45 AM PST by kattracks
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To: kattracks
I won't be surprised if arab terrorists claim responsibility (I am not saying they did it. But when Kursk sunk, Chechens tried to claim responsibility saying that their people sabotaged it).
10 posted on 02/01/2003 7:01:55 AM PST by BrooklynGOP (...speaking of dumb....)
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To: Jalapeno
He said he was verbally urging such a plan. BUT it is not now available.
11 posted on 02/01/2003 7:02:13 AM PST by GailA (Throw Away the Keys, Tennessee Tea Party, Start a tax revolt in your state)
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To: kattracks
Prayers for the families and those touched by this.

Sheesh, I'm sick!
12 posted on 02/01/2003 7:02:20 AM PST by Maigrey (Part of the Gonzo News Service)
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To: kattracks
The shuttle was carrying the first Israeli astronaut and six Americans, and authorities had feared it would be a terrorist target.

I believe that they were correct.

13 posted on 02/01/2003 7:02:45 AM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (®)
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To: kattracks
The first Israeli in space and then that!
Our prayers are with the families and friends of the crew!
It´s a tragedy!! May our Father in Heaven welcome his believers.
14 posted on 02/01/2003 7:02:46 AM PST by Michael81Dus (Proud to be German, but not to be represented by Gerhard Schröder)
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To: BrooklynGOP
I think you're right. So much hatred in them will at least cause some stupid celebrations in the middle east.
15 posted on 02/01/2003 7:02:48 AM PST by Mr. Mulliner (Lord, please make me the kind of man my dog thinks I am.)
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To: Jalapeno
No ejection likely at 12,500 mph.

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.

16 posted on 02/01/2003 7:03:21 AM PST by SF Geo
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To: kattracks

First indication of breakup.

17 posted on 02/01/2003 7:03:23 AM PST by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: Jalapeno
They were reportedly travelling at approx. 14,000 mph, and were at approx. 200,000 ft. in altitude. No one would survive ejection under those circumstances, unless the craft contained some type of ejection "pod," which the shuttles do not. Remember, the shuttle is 1970s technology.
18 posted on 02/01/2003 7:03:26 AM PST by holymoly
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To: kattracks
The news bring tears to my eyes, I cannot believe it. How much misery have the United States and Israel have to suffer?
19 posted on 02/01/2003 7:04:00 AM PST by Michael81Dus (Proud to be German, but not to be represented by Gerhard Schröder)
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Shuttle, crew lost

By Irene Brown
UPI Science News
From the Science & Technology Desk
Published 2/1/2003 9:49 AM
View printer-friendly version

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.


20 posted on 02/01/2003 7:04:14 AM PST by kattracks
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To: holymoly
Normal eject like out-of-plane no, but do they have small escape capsules or something..
21 posted on 02/01/2003 7:04:17 AM PST by Jalapeno
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To: Jalapeno
Egress would occur at about 20,000 feet under ideal conditions. The crew had no chance of escaping the vehicle at this speed and altitude.
22 posted on 02/01/2003 7:05:36 AM PST by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: Michael81Dus
Its not just the US and Israel that are suffering. The civilized world suffers. Including Arabs?
23 posted on 02/01/2003 7:05:46 AM PST by SF Geo
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To: Jalapeno
Not in the shuttle. No escape pod, etc. They talked about it after Challenger, but...
24 posted on 02/01/2003 7:06:00 AM PST by holymoly
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Warnings From NASA on Falling Debris; Bush Calls Meeting

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

CAPE 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.


25 posted on 02/01/2003 7:06:18 AM PST by kattracks
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To: kattracks
Brother in law has reported possible debris in Humble and Fort Bend co. and also on Richmond Ave.
26 posted on 02/01/2003 7:06:55 AM PST by Double Tap
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To: Jalapeno
what are the emergency procedures at that time in the landing....is there some way they could of ejected?

According to someone from NASA speaking on CNN there was no possiblity (or means) to eject specifically because of altitude and speed.

27 posted on 02/01/2003 7:07:03 AM PST by BunnySlippers
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To: kattracks
'

On behalf of posters on Free Republic, I post this with deepest sympathy for the crew and their families.

Mission - sts107


28 posted on 02/01/2003 7:07:09 AM PST by DoughtyOne
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To: Jalapeno
The crew must make their way to the hatch and bail out. No escape pod or capsule.
29 posted on 02/01/2003 7:07:21 AM PST by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: Mr. Mulliner
So much hatred in them will at least cause some stupid celebrations in the middle east. yes and how long will it be before hilary tells us this is Bush's fault!
30 posted on 02/01/2003 7:07:26 AM PST by Free_at_last_-2001
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To: SF Geo
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

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.

31 posted on 02/01/2003 7:08:09 AM PST by DWPittelli
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To: Free_at_last_-2001
God Bless Them.
32 posted on 02/01/2003 7:08:46 AM PST by SF Geo
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To: SF Geo
I´m not sure. I hope for them and us that the Arab world will feel sorrow for that tragedy, too.

33 posted on 02/01/2003 7:08:47 AM PST by Michael81Dus (Proud to be German, but not to be represented by Gerhard Schröder)
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To: kattracks


34 posted on 02/01/2003 7:08:57 AM PST by Diogenesis
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To: DWPittelli
Not much chance of terrorism at 200,000 feet
35 posted on 02/01/2003 7:09:20 AM PST by AppyPappy (Will Code COBOL For Food)
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To: Double Tap
I live 150 miles Northeast of Houston. The flight path would have been almost over head. Shortly after 8 am I heard what sounded like rolling thunder and the windows shook. I raised a window to try to hear better and determine what I heard because it was a strange noise.

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.

36 posted on 02/01/2003 7:09:42 AM PST by lonestar ((Nelson Mandela has a thinking problem))
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To: kattracks
may god welcome them home ...
37 posted on 02/01/2003 7:10:11 AM PST by tomkat
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To: lonestar
Probably sonic booms, not explosions
38 posted on 02/01/2003 7:10:31 AM PST by Jalapeno
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To: kattracks
From MSN... "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. Leroy Cain, the lead flight director in Mission Control, had assured reporters Friday that engineers had concluded that any damage to the wing was considered minor and posed no safety hazard. "

Their decision not to abort before reaching orbit will be debated for a long time.

39 posted on 02/01/2003 7:10:41 AM PST by Tax Government
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To: Mr. Mulliner
stupid celebrations in the middle east.

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"

40 posted on 02/01/2003 7:11:19 AM PST by ErnBatavia ((Bumperootus!))
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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.


41 posted on 02/01/2003 7:11:41 AM PST by kattracks
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To: kattracks
Job 1:20-22
20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.


Good words to remember at a time like this
42 posted on 02/01/2003 7:13:20 AM PST by Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek
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To: kattracks
Columbia was an "old crotchety beast" in the terms of another engineer. Possibly (I'm not certain) the oldest in the fleet.

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.

--Boris

43 posted on 02/01/2003 7:13:50 AM PST by boris
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To: kattracks
Father God, have mercy on their souls, and be with their families.
44 posted on 02/01/2003 7:14:39 AM PST by exnavy
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To: kattracks
If I am not mistaken, Ramon was on the Osirak raid in Iraq in 1981.
45 posted on 02/01/2003 7:14:45 AM PST by The Iguana
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To: Admin Moderator
This thread, or one like it, should be at the top of Breaking News.
46 posted on 02/01/2003 7:15:38 AM PST by FreedomPoster (This space intentionally blank)
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To: kattracks

Prayers for the families of Columbia

47 posted on 02/01/2003 7:15:53 AM PST by Budge (God Bless FReepers!)
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To: kattracks
If they knew about the insulation coming off during launch, why didn't they repair it with space walks?

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 >

48 posted on 02/01/2003 7:16:10 AM PST by DCPatriot
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To: kattracks
Oh My God
49 posted on 02/01/2003 7:16:11 AM PST by ChadGore
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To: DWPittelli
Leroy Cain, the lead flight director in Mission Control
50 posted on 02/01/2003 7:16:28 AM PST by bvw
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