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NASA STATEMENT ON LOSS OF COMMUNICATIONS WITH COLUMBIA
NASA ^ | 2/1/03 | NASA

Posted on 02/01/2003 8:17:39 AM PST by AStack75

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA STATEMENT ON LOSS OF COMMUNICATIONS WITH COLUMBIA

A Space Shuttle contingency has been declared in Mission Control, Houston, as a result of the loss of communication with the Space Shuttle Columbia at approximately 9 a.m. EST Saturday as it descended toward a landing at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla. It was scheduled to touchdown at 9:16 a.m. EST.

Communication and tracking of the shuttle was lost at 9 a.m. EST at an altitude of about 203,000 feet in the area above north central Texas. At the time communications were lost. The shuttle was traveling approximately 12,500 miles per hour (Mach 18). No communication and tracking information were received in Mission Control after that time.

Search and rescue teams in the Dallas-Fort Worth and in portions of East Texas have been alerted. Any debris that is located in the area that may be related to the Space Shuttle contingency should be avoided and may be hazardous as a result of toxic propellants used aboard the shuttle. The location of any possible debris should immediately be reported to local authorities.

Flight controllers in Mission Control have secured all information, notes and data pertinent to today's entry and landing by Space Shuttle Columbia and continue to methodically proceed through contingency plans.

News media covering the Space Shuttle should stay tuned to NASA Television, which is broadcast on AMC-2, transponder 9C, C-Band, located at 85 degrees West longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical and audio is monaural at 6.8 MHz. Reporters can also go to any NASA center newsroom to monitor the situation.

New information, including the times and locations of press briefings, will be posted to this page.

NASA Home Page



TOPICS: Breaking News; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: columbiatragedy; feb12003; india; israel; nasa; spaceshuttle; unitedstates
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1 posted on 02/01/2003 8:17:40 AM PST by AStack75
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To: AStack75
Just put my flag out flying high. Encourage everyone else to do the same.
2 posted on 02/01/2003 8:19:33 AM PST by rs79bm
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To: rs79bm
It's probably more appropriate to fly it at half-mast today.
3 posted on 02/01/2003 8:21:17 AM PST by AStack75
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To: AStack75

4 posted on 02/01/2003 8:25:12 AM PST by ChadGore
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To: AStack75

Click here for “Taps”


Rest in Peace...

5 posted on 02/01/2003 8:27:08 AM PST by MeekOneGOP (9 out of 10 Republicans agree: Bush IS a Genius !!)
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To: ChadGore
Does that swath of material reflecting on nexrad always show up during a reentry or just today? That's incredible.
6 posted on 02/01/2003 8:28:26 AM PST by lainie
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To: AStack75

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


7 posted on 02/01/2003 8:28:48 AM PST by DoughtyOne
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To: ChadGore
electronic interference??
8 posted on 02/01/2003 8:30:39 AM PST by knarf
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To: AStack75; VaBthang4; Gunrunner2; SouthParkRepublican; MadIvan; ChadGore; swarthyguy; ...
During take-off CNN showed a video that clearly depicted a piece of insulation falling off the main tank and hitting the leading edge of a wing. They highlighted it, but by then the shuttle was already on its way up. Could that be the cause for the crash in that it somehow disrupted the ceramic heat shielding?

Here is a picture of the event.


9 posted on 02/01/2003 8:31:20 AM PST by spetznaz (When i say i am perfect people say i am arrogant .....but i am just being darn honest!)
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God bless the crew of shuttle Columbia.

R.I.P.

10 posted on 02/01/2003 8:32:19 AM PST by Reagan Man
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To: DoughtyOne
God be with the families and friends of these Astronauts on this tragic lose of the Columbia.

Thanks for giving us an idea at who these Astronauts are!
11 posted on 02/01/2003 8:33:20 AM PST by PhiKapMom (Bush/Cheney 2004)
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To: ChadGore
As most of you probably have, I have been watching the films of the shuttle entering the atmosphere. One of them that was just aired on fox, zoomed in briefly and afforded a clear view of the shuttle before it broke up. It appeared to me that there was about a 20-degree yaw (meaning, that the nose was pointed about 20 degrees to the side of the flight path), which of course would explain the break-up. Has anyone considered the possibility that some malevolent adversary could have interfered with the computer data link between NASA and the shuttle?
12 posted on 02/01/2003 8:40:32 AM PST by Renfield
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To: PhiKapMom
"Grisly" debris reportedly being found ... this is so very sad.
13 posted on 02/01/2003 8:41:03 AM PST by PackerBoy
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To: PhiKapMom
Link to radar loop
14 posted on 02/01/2003 8:41:09 AM PST by Lunatic Fringe (I drank what?)
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To: PhiKapMom

Maiden launch of the Space Shuttle Columbia

15 posted on 02/01/2003 8:41:17 AM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: PhiKapMom
Pray for the crew, pray for their families, and for the ones left behind to challenge the winds of space and reach for the stars.

We go on.
16 posted on 02/01/2003 8:41:33 AM PST by Luis Gonzalez (The Ever So Humble Banana Republican)
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To: DoughtyOne

I'm mirroring the image of the crew. NASA's servers seem bogged down right now.

17 posted on 02/01/2003 8:41:48 AM PST by AStack75
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: Lunatic Fringe
Wow... That's incredible. Eerily reminiscent of the radar imagery of Matthattan on September 11th.
19 posted on 02/01/2003 8:43:29 AM PST by AStack75
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To: MeeknMing
Nice Graphic

Rest in Peace
God Bless America

20 posted on 02/01/2003 8:44:25 AM PST by Fiddlstix (Tag Line Service Center: Get your Tag Lines Here! Wholesale! (Cheaper by the Dozen!) Inquire Within)
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To: DoughtyOne
Yes, thanks a million for the pictures. I have sent them to some of my friends who are not as fortunate as we are to be FReepers and lurkers!
21 posted on 02/01/2003 8:45:14 AM PST by Clifdo
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To: AStack75
Thank you.
22 posted on 02/01/2003 8:46:20 AM PST by DoughtyOne
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To: AStack75
Live Video Streams:
BBC World: http://202.174.129.100/bbc300k
CTV NewsNet: http://ctvbroadcast.ctv.ca/ctvlivehigh.asf
WFAA/Dallas (ABC): http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=5882
KPRC/Houston (and all IBSYS sites): http://mfile.akamai.com/7882/live/reflector:23961.ram
KHOU/Houston (CBS): http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=206531
CNN: http://www.itcom.itd.umich.edu/streaming/ram/avs03.ram
FOX News Channel: http://umtv-live.rs.itd.umich.edu/itcom/avs01.ram
NBC; NASA TV; MSNBC; KXAS/Dallas: http://www.msnbc.com/m/lv/default.asp?0cv=CA01

23 posted on 02/01/2003 8:47:17 AM PST by mhking
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To: PackerBoy
Is this in the Dallas/Fort Worth area?
24 posted on 02/01/2003 8:49:00 AM PST by PhiKapMom (Bush/Cheney 2004)
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To: Luis Gonzalez
God be with the NASA people in their investigation to get to the truth!
25 posted on 02/01/2003 8:50:47 AM PST by PhiKapMom (Bush/Cheney 2004)
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To: spetznaz
I heard them say something about that too... but at that point, what are you gonna do?
26 posted on 02/01/2003 8:51:02 AM PST by Terriergal ("DU is the biggest source of HATESPEECH on the internet today")
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To: AStack75

This is a photo of the shuttle that was lost today. You can right click view to see it full size.


27 posted on 02/01/2003 8:51:42 AM PST by DoughtyOne
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To: Renfield
The Shuttle comes in on its own computer program -- it does not need to communicate with the ground.

It is more likely that some of the thermal tiles on the Orbiter came loose or broke off. The heat of re-entry then might have burned through control cables and wire bundles, rendering the Shuttle uncontrollable. Without attitude and flight control, a tumble would develop, tearing the orbiter airframe apart.

This is a very tragic day for our space program. Pray for the astronauts' families.

28 posted on 02/01/2003 8:51:59 AM PST by Cincinatus
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To: Renfield
Just came and and learned of this event. Do you mean that there is video tape of the shuttle just before the breakup?
29 posted on 02/01/2003 8:52:27 AM PST by Joe Hadenuf
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To: Terriergal
That was what i was telling a friend of mine some moments ago. Once it has started its ascent there is really nothing that can be done. You cannot make it just turn around and immediately land ....meaning all one can do is pray and hope all turns out well.

Sad.

30 posted on 02/01/2003 8:55:59 AM PST by spetznaz (When i say i am perfect people say i am arrogant .....but i am just being darn honest!)
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To: Renfield
Yes. Me.
31 posted on 02/01/2003 8:56:34 AM PST by Freeper Lady
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To: PhiKapMom
From another day of tragedy.

*************************************************

President Reagan's Speech on The Challenger Disaster

Ronald Reagan -- Oval Office of the White House, January 28, 1986

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss.

Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But, we've never lost an astronaut in flight; we've never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we've forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle; but they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together.

For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, 'Give me a challenge and I'll meet it with joy.' They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us.

We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for twenty-five years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers.

And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them...

I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program, and what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue. I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it."

There's a coincidence today. On this day 390 years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, 'He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it.' Well, today we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete.

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honoured us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.'

32 posted on 02/01/2003 8:56:59 AM PST by Reagan Man
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To: DoughtyOne

33 posted on 02/01/2003 8:57:39 AM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: Joe Hadenuf
Yes. It's the tape that ends with birds flying through the field of view, and a sweetgum (or sycamore)tree in the background. Fox replayed it just a couple of minutes ago.
34 posted on 02/01/2003 8:57:51 AM PST by Renfield
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To: Renfield
A major telephoto view I take it? And the shuttle was completely intack, could you actually see the shape of the shuttle in the image? Sorry, I haven't seen any of this, coming in late here. The only videos we are seeing is the debris falling. Haven't seen the video your talking about, but we are looking.......
35 posted on 02/01/2003 9:00:30 AM PST by Joe Hadenuf
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To: Renfield
:'(
36 posted on 02/01/2003 9:02:30 AM PST by MatthewViti
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To: Joe Hadenuf
I haven't seen any videos of the shuttle intact. I doubt they exist. I'm guessing we will only see many different videos of the debris falling.
37 posted on 02/01/2003 9:02:50 AM PST by AStack75
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To: AStack75
It's probably more appropriate to fly it at half-mast today.

I concur:

We have a 30-foot flagstaff, on which we fly the U.S. flag 24/7 -- with photocell-controlled spotlights on it from dusk to dawn.

My first act upon learning this tragic news was to go outside, salute the flag, lower it to half staff -- and salute it again....holding the salute for the 20 seconds it takes to say the Lord's prayer...

May the Lord keep his hand on the families of those seven heroic people!

38 posted on 02/01/2003 9:04:08 AM PST by TXnMA ((No Longer!!!))
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To: AStack75
I don't recall, can't remember,.... does anyone know if they rountinely lose communications while reentering???
39 posted on 02/01/2003 9:04:19 AM PST by Joe Hadenuf
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To: Joe Hadenuf
I heard someone saying that it does happen, but when it does, it's usually only for a second or so.
40 posted on 02/01/2003 9:05:49 AM PST by AStack75
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To: AStack75
They must have some kind of communtications, or reports of a problem from the crew, just prior to this event.........

My bet is that they have some communication from the crew, just prior to this, acknowledging a problem, unless the problem was so damn sudden..........

41 posted on 02/01/2003 9:09:02 AM PST by Joe Hadenuf
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To: AStack75
Thanks......
42 posted on 02/01/2003 9:09:59 AM PST by Joe Hadenuf
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To: spetznaz
yeah... and of course they're going to publicly say that the loss of the insulation isn't going to be a problem.. because there's nothing to be done about it except carry out the mission. Can you imagine them saying as we watch it going up "whoops we see a piece of the insulation has fallen off... that means they will be burnt to a crisp on reentry, folks."
43 posted on 02/01/2003 9:14:20 AM PST by Terriergal ("DU is the biggest source of HATESPEECH on the internet today")
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To: Lunatic Fringe
That's amazing.
44 posted on 02/01/2003 9:15:22 AM PST by Chi-townChief
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To: Joe Hadenuf
It has been posted on the other thread that the last voice comm was the pilot giving an instrument reading before the sound faded to static. At Mach 18, whatever went wrong likely became fully catastrophic in less than a second.
45 posted on 02/01/2003 9:15:56 AM PST by Steel Wolf
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To: Terriergal
because there's nothing to be done about it

If the insulation that hit the wing was known to cause a problem on re-entry, at the very least the astronauts could have sought refuge in the space station and ditched the shuttle, or stay up there while the Atlantis or Endeavor goes up to effect repairs.

46 posted on 02/01/2003 9:22:36 AM PST by Tree of Liberty
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To: Steel Wolf
It has been posted on the other thread that the last voice comm was the pilot giving an instrument reading before the sound faded to static. At Mach 18, whatever went wrong likely became fully catastrophic in less than a second.

No doubt you are correct, however, if debris had hit one of the wings on take off, the crew had to be concerned about that during the mission and it had to be an issue during the entire flight. Do you or anyone else know if the crew and ground control had been discussing this issue during the mission

Thanks to anyone that can answer this.......

47 posted on 02/01/2003 9:23:36 AM PST by Joe Hadenuf
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To: Tree of Liberty
Possibly.
48 posted on 02/01/2003 9:26:22 AM PST by Terriergal ("DU is the biggest source of HATESPEECH on the internet today")
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To: spetznaz

¿¿¿Foam Insulation???

49 posted on 02/01/2003 9:29:59 AM PST by chainsaw
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To: Tree of Liberty
"If the insulation that hit the wing was known to cause a problem on re-entry, at the very least the astronauts could have sought refuge in the space station and ditched the shuttle, or stay up there while the Atlantis or Endeavor goes up to effect repairs."

If the wing was damaged on liftoff, then they were doomed from that point on. This Orbiter could not have rendezvoused with ISS. It was in the wrong orbit and the wrong altitude. A nominal launch date of March 1 for the next mission means -- best case and all the angels on your side -- a launch no earlier than 20 February. By then the Columbia crew would have suffocated, as air would probably have run out. Electricity, water, and food reserves would not have lasted much longer. I don't think they had reserves for more than a few more days of any consumable.

Better to go out the way they did. They enjoyed two weeks in space on a good mission and died quickly, without having it creep up on them an inch at a time. I doubt they experienced much pain. It would have been over almost as swiftly as it started.

50 posted on 02/01/2003 9:41:12 AM PST by No Truce With Kings (The opinions expressed are mine! Mine! MINE! All Mine!)
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