Skip to comments.STS-107 Columbia Journal - Live updates of space shuttle tragedy from Florida Today
Posted on 02/01/2003 10:02:08 AM PST by HAL9000Edited on 05/07/2004 6:04:05 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
Welcome to our journal chronicling the landing of space shuttle Columbia as it ends a 16-day science mission. Landing is scheduled for Saturday morning, Feb. 1, at Kennedy Space Center. See more coverage on our mission page or read more news on our space page.
(Excerpt) Read more at floridatoday.com ...
1:28 p.m. EST, Feb. 1, 2003
Administrator O'Keefe is honoring the crew now.
"They dedicated their lives to pushing the scientific challenges for all of us here on Earth. They dedicated themselves to that objective and did it with a happy heart and great enthusiasm. The loss of this valiant crew is something we will never get over."
1:26 p.m. EST, Feb. 1, 2003
Administrator O'Keefe says a full technical briefing will come at 3 p.m. EST at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. He is advising people in Texas and Louisiana who believe they have spotted debris to stay away from it but report it to authorities.
1:23 p.m. EST, Feb. 1, 2003
NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe says this is a tragic day for NASA. President Bush has talked with the astronauts family members. He and O'Keefe have promised them an immediate and complete investigation of what happened and the quickest possible recovering of their loved ones' remains.
He downplayed any speculation of terrorism.
"We have no indication that the mishap was caused by anyone or anything on the ground."
An independent team is being assembled immediately to investigate.
1:19 p.m. EST, Feb. 1, 2003
Still no administrator, but it is being said here that he might still be with family members of the crew.
12:59 p.m. EST, Feb. 1, 2003
Howard McCurdy, professor of public affairs at American University in Washington, who has written several books about NASA management, history and space policy, says any speculation about terrorism is far-fetched.
"It's certainly something you think of, but it would be highly unlikely to occur."
Something mechanical with he vehicle or the general risks of spaceflight and re-entering the Earth's atmosphere are much more likely, he said.
However, he was most focused on the immediate shock to America's space program - and most importantly the family members of the seven crew members aboard the ship.
"It's just tragic. The most immediate concern is the astronauts and their families."
12:52 p.m. EST, Feb. 1, 2003
NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe is only going to issue a statement at his 1 p.m. EST news conference here at Kennedy Space Center, where he had come to watch the landing. He will not take questions at this time.